Hatred simply wants what it wants; it expects all others to accept and conform; and the beliefs, views, attitudes, needs or perspectives of the other are not to be considered. Moreover, because hate is rooted in an obsession with the self it can quickly move into negative and even evil areas when it’s expectations are not met.
Image by 安伦 李
By Steve Hall
Does the world hate you?
To answer the question it would probably be useful to clarify what we mean, starting with hate. There are those who would maintain that the opposite of love is not hate but indifference. Whether accurate or not, we probably would intend something more active than plain indifference when describing hate. Love means desiring the best for another; hate means desiring the ‘best’ for one’s self. It has its own desires. Nevertheless, hate does not necessarily have an emotional aspect any more than love does. It may or may not be accompanied by feelings just as with love. But hate, pure and simple, begins with self. It is indifferent to right or wrong, good or bad. It wants what it wants without regard for whether or not something is the best for the other. So when the question is posed: ‘Does the world hate you?’ we need not immediately think of anger, bitterness, malevolence or rage. Those may or may not be part of the equation — at least not initially.
There are, of course, those who truly are indifferent. They don’t care what your beliefs, views, attitudes or perspectives might be. They are ‘comfortable’ living outside any social norms and expect to be allowed such freedom of lifestyle. They neither love nor hate; they are detached.
Hatred, on the other hand, simply wants what it wants; it expects all others to accept and conform; and the beliefs, views, attitudes, needs or perspectives of the other are not to be considered. Moreover, because hate is rooted in an obsession with the self it can quickly move into negative and even evil areas when it’s expectations are not met. In some ways a useful image might be that of a child throwing a tantrum. Not surprising is the fact that such a child may give voice to his frustration and resulting anger by hollering: “I hate you.” Neither the reasonable nor the rational plays a part in hate.
The machinations of hate take many forms. Anger, unfounded accusations, distortions, misdirection and lies are the most common; but other more subtle and manipulative methods can also be employed. The object of hatred may be chastised as outmoded or archaic. He/she may be ostracized for their ‘weirdness.’ He/she may be lectured about their fabricated guilt for participating in imaginary social sins.
So we return to the question: Does the world hate you? Peculiarly, neither a yes or a no is a comfortable answer. If the world hates you, you will certainly know persecution in one form or another. If the world does not hate you then possibly you are too much in conformity with the world. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own. Being the object of hate does not make us victims; rather, it indicates our triumph through Jesus in his victory over death and all that accompanies it. Because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world,
the world hates you.
We can, therefore, rely on God’s word of victory as spoken through Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist:
Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.