Romans 12:9 – 10 A sticky wicket

Romans 12:9 – 10 NIV
“9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Here we have the hate word again. Man, God sure makes it hard to love Him when He keeps on hating. I think I’m going to hate Good because He says I should hate and I hate haters.

I’m going to hate God because He hates some things. Quite the sticky wicket.

That seems to be a common argument, albeit so pathetically weak as to wonder why it’s given credence.  It makes no sense. I’m righteous, I’m justified in my hatred of God because He hates and I hate haters. Kind of like the intolerance of the tolerance movement.

Romans 12:9-10 ESV
“9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

There, another translation. Is that better?

Of course we are to abhor evil. That’s easy.

So, what’s evil?

In God’s eyes, sin is evil. Anything that is  what He says is sin is sin. We don’t want to hear that. We just want to think that if we change definitions, God will tag along. God doesn’t know what we know, I mean the Bible was written so long ago, He just didn’t know what we know now. I’m struggling here with the reality that following Christ is a whole lot harder than I want it to be because He has standards that uncomfortably high, uncomfortably real. It’d be nice if everything was OK and we could just love.

Love. That’s the linchpin. How do we hate (abhor) and love at the same time?

We are called to love others, to love everyone, above ourselves, more than ourselves, before ourselves. We are to sacrifice our needs and wants for others before ourselves. And we are to abhor evil. We are to hate it, detest it, run away from it. That is a sticky wicket. How do we love and hate at the same time?

Notice though that we are to hate the sin, to abhor the sin, the act, but we are to love the sinner, love the actor. Truly love. Adore. Honor.

A sticky wicket for sure, and quite contrary to what we would do naturally. The easy way is to approve of the sin, just let it be, it’s a free world, if it works for them who am I to…., but that guy is a total tool, I hate his guts, I hate ________, etc. Love the sin, hate the sinner depending on the situation and what you think is right.

The wisdom, knowledge and law of God vs. the wisdom, knowledge and law of man.

A sticky wicket for us, but not for God. He’s not looking for our help or approval. He’s looking for us to follow and love.

Love like He loves us. Love beyond anything we can imagine. Love extravagantly, daringly, with great risk. And stand firm on sin, on what’s evil, in God’s eyes. Uncomfortable.

A sticky wicket that demands a decision. Which way are you going to go? Towards God or away from Him? Towards God’s wisdom, knowledge, law and most importantly love, or away from it?

A sticky wicket for us.

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