Hatred: What is it? by Naty Matos

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For quite some time I’ve been listening to the words that come out of my mouth. As a Christian we should be intentional in our words because we know that there’s power of life and death in the tongue. I hear a lot of people use the word hate very casually without understanding the implications. To be honest, I’m one of those people. In moments of anger or when I’ve been displeased. I’ve used the word I hate inappropriately.

As I usually do in these situations I like to go to the root of the definition. According to the Webster dictionary hate means an intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury and/or an extreme dislike or antipathy.

When I look at this definition it changes my perception of hatred. We are so afraid to say we hate something, but what caught my attention were the sources from where hatred can come: fear, anger or sense of injury. This tells me that as believers we should not live in hatred because all those avenues are resolvable according to the word of God.

The other part of this definition that catches my eye is the word intense hostility. This is the part where I think we use this word inappropriately. How many times we say I hate (place here the name of an inanimate object)? If we are honest with ourselves we may highly dislike an object, but to have such strong feelings for something that doesn’t even has life doesn’t make any sense.

We also use terms like, I hate (placed the name of an animal here). For the most part that is something born out of fear. Sometimes is legitimized by an attack by said animal, sometimes is not. I used to say that I hate rodents. I have never been attacked by one, but if I’m honest with myself I have never been hostile to one. The times I’ve been in contact with them it has been through a glass at a pet store, through a media screen (movie, TV) or running in the backyard of the house we used to live when I was growing up. My fear was taught by my mother who feared them. So to say that I hate them is inaccurate. Don’t get me wrong, I still highly dislike them and if I had to come into a closer contact with them I would need assistance because I would not deal with them alone.

When it comes to people is when I think the term is applied more accurately. The feelings of anger and hostility towards someone can make us truly hate someone. Lack of forgiveness, and holding on to offenses will definitely take us towards the path of true hatred. However the fact that we are angry at someone or at a situation doesn’t necessarily means that we hate them.

About this author:

Naty Matos

Naty Matos was born in the city of New York. She grew up in the beautiful Island of Puerto Rico and now lives in the city of Atlanta.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with a Minor in Mass Media Communications and a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling.

Naty writes Christian fiction and non-fiction. She maintains a blog on Christian Living Topics at http://www.therisingmuse.com

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