Between love and hatred

lago-bleu-200429_640Proverbs 15:12: A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.

What you love or hate is a pointer to the kind of person that you are. Jesus said that my meal is to do the will of my father in heaven and to finish his work (John 4:34). That is a statement about what he loves, where his passion lies, his essence, his defining drive.

He made a whip and chased people out of the temple (Matthew 21:12-13), those who were buying and selling, saying: it is written my house father’s house shall be called the house of prayer for all nations but you have made it a den of thieves. That is a pointer to what he hates: anything that compromises his father’s house, his father’s name.

Love and hate describes what you are attracted to or you are repelled by, respectively. Paul said that we should be fervent in spirit serving the Lord, not slothful in business (Romans 12:11). It takes a measure of passion/love to not be slothful in business.

Many people are involved in work in which they have no passion for, go to a church where they have no passion for and are in marriages where all the passion is out. (You can change your job, your church, your marriage cannot be changed, so do something about it, or stop complaining). That sounds like a recipe for disaster, for an unsatisfied life, an underutilised life.

Many have allowed others to define them, to dictate to them what they should be how they should be, who they should marry, where they should live, so much that they have not been able to find their own voice, discover their own passion, discover their own desires. That is the position of slavery, slavery to others, to the society, to the family.

But God has made us to be free. Where there is the Spirit, there is liberty (2Corinthains 3:17). That freedom is the freedom to be all that God made you to be, all that God wants you to be, in a passionate existence bearing fruits and going strong.

Adam and Eve sought freedom away from God (Genesis 3), but they discovered that they there is no liberty apart from him. With the bondage to sin, came the delimiting of the human capacity, potential; the shutting down of the divinity in man. Man became lethargic about his existence, moving about with reduced energy, in bondage to fear.

After sin, when man heard the voice of God in the wilderness, he ran away in fear, thereby running away from his full potential of passionate existence.

They could not make progress because they opposed God; they lost the place of their liberty, where their potentials fully blossomed with Adam naming all animals. God does not want to repress us, as the devil told Eve, he wants to liberate us. Our highest possibilities are in him, the devil’s deception is about presenting an alternative, which really is a trap.

Life is meant to be lived with passion. It’s either we love the world or we love God, with all the passions we can summon. Jesus said that he hates the lukewarm (Revelation 3:15-16), the neither-hot-nor-cold, and he will spew them out of their mouth.

Jesus loved sinners, but the Pharisees, who had settled down in their indifference, their self-contained religiosity, he opposed. They defined themselves as perfect, with no need to improve. They set for themselves the examination, and give themselves the 100 percent mark.

When Jesus healed a man born blind, he said it was his mission on earth to give sight to the blind and for those who see to go blind. And the Pharisee asked him: are we also blind? He answered: if you were blind you will have no sin, but now you claim to see, your sins remaining with you. That means since they claim they know, they cannot receive help and so cannot be helped (John 9).

They claim to seek God but what they really seek is themselves. Jesus told them: you search the scriptures, seeking for eternal life but that life is in me (John 5:39-40). There is no point being passionate about scriptures if you are not passionate about Christ first. Otherwise we would be distracted from Christ by the very scripture that is supposed to lead us to him. The scriptures you know will lead you to “kill” the saviour if your passion is wrongly placed. Ask the Pharisees.

A man Simeon, who had a walk with the Holy Spirit, was called a devout man, who sought God for God sake, not because he wants to achieve an agenda, but just because he wants to be close to him (Luke 2:25-35). He was able to recognise Jesus soon after he was born. He was led to the Jesus, based on the relationship he had with the Holy Spirit. So knowing the objective scriptures is not enough, you need the subjective experience of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who stands for passion, love for God in us. And that love counters the love of the world around us. We are enjoined to not love the world or the things in the world (1John 2:15-17). But we are not told to hate the world, only the practice of sin (Jude 1:21-23), rejecting and exposing the works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11-13). We are called to be active against anything that defiles.

Love and hate are two forces that drive us to their direction. The strength of the two determines the speed of our movement in those directions. The haters get to do much evil; the lovers get to do much good.

In the focus verse, there was a man who was described as hating those who reprove him but not those who tell him lies. He will not go to the wise. He has an I-know-it-all attitude. That is his undoing. But the readiness to learn is a mark of the wise, it a driving force. Isaiah said that God wakes him up every morning to hear as the learned (Isaiah 50:4-5).

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