The Spoiler of Love
By Jill Briscoe
“A time to love and a time to hate.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:8
We know there is always a time to love, but is there ever a time to hate? I believe there is a legitimate case for hating whatever it is that spoils love.
What abusive man does not hate the temper that controls him? What alcoholic wife does not despise the addiction that is ruining her home and her relationships? There is definitely a time to hate that which destroys love. If we hate sin enough, we might be motivated to seek God’s help to turn from it.
God hates sin. He hates it because He knows sin is a spoiler. Jesus showed us God’s heart when He turned on the Pharisees, hating their hypocrisy and pride. “I hate pride” (Prov. 8:13), said the Lord. God hates lying, divorce, and all sorts of abuses of human rights. He hates cheating and sexual perversion.
Yes, there is a time to hate. The problem comes when our love does not contain the element of hatred. False love allows anyone to do anything to anybody regardless of the consequences. False love even loves what God hates!
“God has given me this wonderful love for this married man,” a woman told me.
“Nonsense,” I replied. “He wouldn’t. God hates adultery.”
True love hates the thing that spoils it. True love has rules, and it confronts, disciplines, and shows itself strong in sticking to principles. True love is honest and open, willing to sacrifice itself, being first and foremost concerned with the loved one’s highest good. There is a time to love. It’s now!
Suggested Reading: Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
Lord, help me examine the ways that I love the people in my life. I want to truly love and care for each one. Open my eyes to the sin you hate, and let me see clearly the damage it causes. Give me a strong hatred of all the sin that spoils love and causes hurt both in my life and in the lives of those I love. Amen.