Sermons

Summary: Hate is a mental condition that harms the mind, body and spirit, which if allowed to remain will also destroy our relationship with God.

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Introduction

The Hatfield and McCoy feud was recently on TV; this is one of the saddest things I have ever watched. It is so wrong for people to hate people just because of their name or because of something they have done in the past. When Christians hate people they are in direct violation of Jesus’ command to love one another, and it will not be ignored by God. Jesus said we are to love everyone, even those who do us wrong. In fact, Jesus went so far as to teach that anyone who will not forgive another person will not receive God’s forgiveness. (Matthew 5:43-48, Matthew 6:14-15, Luke 6: 27-36) When we refuse to forgive someone we are actually condemning ourselves before God.

So you see, the Hatfield and McCoy feud may have been a macho thing in the eyes of humans, but when Satan brought hate into the Hatfield and McCoy families he condemned to hell those who yielded to hatred. When we allow ourselves to fall before emotions like: hurt feelings, dislike, jealousy, envy, and anger we are standing at the doorway to Satan’s path of hatred … a path that leads to a place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. When we feel these emotions building up within us we need to instantly fall on our knees and repent, seeking God’s forgiveness and our deliverance from the horrid sin of hatred. Nothing good came out of the hatred expressed by the Hatfields and McCoys, and nothing good will come out of our hating someone and refusing to forgive them from our heart.

What is hatred?

We use the term hate in a most casual manner, which leads to many misconceptions regarding the act of hating. Yet, there are serious similarities between a child hating broccoli and a Hatfield hating a McCoy. We can attempt to modify our act of hating with synonyms such as: abhor, abomination, aversion, detest, disgust, dislike, grievance, ill will, loath, no love lost, repugnant, repulsive, and scorn. It does not matter how you wrap it up; however, when we have a negative opinion about someone it is wrong regardless of the magnitude of our dislike.

Psychologist believe that hatred is actually a mental state where our ego is at odds with something that makes it feel uncomfortable. This is not a temporary emotion. Ergo, hate is a fixed mental state identified by a negative attitude toward a person, group, or object. Psychologists also believe hatred can produce a long-lasting mental condition that can evolve into an even deeper and more sinister mental condition: if we continue to entertain the feelings produced by hate. In fact, a 2008 study published by scientists at University College London revealed that test subjects' brains, which were mapped with an MRI scanner, while they looked at pictures of the people they hated, observed intense activity in the putamen and insular cortex. It is interesting to note that these two brain regions are also active when a person sees a picture of a loved one. What makes this even more interesting is the fact that these two brain areas also prepares the body for movement. Now, here is the kicker. If the test subject is experiencing love the areas of the frontal cortex associated with judgment and critical thinking typically become less active than normal. You might say that love dulls our capability to think logically. On the other hand, if the test subject is experiencing hatred brain activity in the frontal cortex remained active and actually increases with the intensity of hate. This indicates that hate is not just a spontaneous emotion. It would appear that hate involves a certain amount of thought and reasoning. If the scientists are right, this means that hate truly can become a mental state which destroys our capability to love, and hate may permanently warp our capability for rational thought.

The part of the brain used to love is the same part we use to hate; ergo, you cannot have love and hate in your brain at the same time. This supports what John wrote: “If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. (1 John 4:20) We can fool ourselves into believing that we can both hate and love but this is a lie from Satan. Love, like hate, is not an emotion … it is a mental state. You can fool yourself into thinking you love when in reality you are just experiencing passion, caring, obligation, or other similar emotion. It is spiritually and physically impossible to have true love and hate in your mind at the same time.

Think about this for a moment. There is considerable evidence that hate is more than just an emotion. Physical and psychological testing reveals that hate is probably more of a mental state than a simple emotional reaction. When we allow negative feeling to exist in our mind they can actually change the chemistry of our mind causing us to allow our mind to be influenced by hate. Hate is a mental state, which has a negative impact on our thinking and on our spiritual wellbeing.

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