THE WORD: Sin: The root of hate
Published 8:59 am Thursday, March 8, 2018
I was recently preaching a sermon on loving your brother and sister and how we can’t say we love God and walk in the light, but at the same time say we hate our fellow human. I look at the world and see the news headlines and television reports, and it seems like more and more there must be a great deal of hate in the world. Children shooting children, adults shooting adults and children, infants tortured, the elderly abused, domestic violence, homicide, random acts of violence and I think, “How have we become so full of hate?”
I struggle at times having hope. Yes, I said it. I am in the business of hope, but I am also surrounded by the same facts and figures and statistics as anybody else that can read, see or hear. As I have prayed and read scripture and ruminated on the current state of affairs in our world — and more specifically our country — I have found myself asking less and less “how did we get so full of hate?” I have come to remember that we all have a sinful nature that we struggle against. We were all born into sin.
There is hope though. In the Bible, we are told the symptoms, the cause and the cure. First, the cause: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Second, the symptoms of that sinful nature can be seen: “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like” (Gal.5:19-21).
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Third, the cure for our sinful nature can be found through Christ: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor. 5:17).
The reason I have stopped asking, and maybe we all should stop asking how we got to this point, why we have gotten to this point, whose to blame for why we are experiencing such hatred and ill will in our world. The answer is found in our sinful nature. It’s not a matter of “why” it has happened or “how” it has happened, it’s a matter of “what” we need to do and “who” we need to do it through.
People don’t need to be filled with hate. It comes easy to many folks. People need to be filled with Christ. My hope comes in the redemption of humankind offered through salvation and relationship with Jesus Christ as savior and lord. He is always there. The cure is there. Christ can wipe away hate, bring about peace and change hearts and lives through His love.
Sin is the cause, the why and how; Bills, Legislature and Laws, are Band-Aids for the symptoms. Christ is the cure.
REV. BARRY VASSAR can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org