Love Trumps Hate

March 15, 2016

You who love the Lord, hate evil! He protects the lives of his godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked.” (Psalm 97:10, NLT)

I live in Missouri, which holds its primary today for the Democratic and Republican candidates for President. What has struck me during this entire election cycle is the contrast between two different political ideologies. On the Democratic side, we have two candidates who are expressing very liberal views. On the Republican side, we see another set of candidates who express views on the opposite side – the conservative side of the political spectrum.

Thousands of people have gone to rallies to listen to Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton on one side, and Donald Trump and Ted Cruz on the Republican side. (Yes, I realize that John Kasich and Marco Rubio are still in the race. Yet, they are not seeing the same number of crowds, and they are not getting the most attention – which is a shame.)

Donald Trump has given voice to the anger that many older voters feel about the political inability to deal with some problems (such as illegal immigration, trade barriers, and ISIS). Bernie Sanders has given voice to the anger that many younger votes feel about other problems (the lack of universal health care, cheaper education, and the inequality between the rich and the poor.) These two men are expressing values from the opposite ends of the political spectrum.

While listening to these candidates, I was struck by something that Bernie Sanders said. He used the following phrase: “Love trumps hate.” He used a wordplay on Donald Trump’s name to express the fact that the hatred expressed in Trump’s campaigns cannot stop love. I think Sanders has tapped into an idea that will resonate with many voters. He is also expressing a very Biblical idea:

Love trumps hate.

As Christians, we are called to be identified by our love for one another, not our hate for one another:

If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?” (1 John 4:20, NLT)

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.” (Romans 12:9, NLT)

We are called to love others, not hate them. At the same time, God is identified as Someone who loves. As a result, if we want to know God, we should be people who love. Because if we don’t love, we don’t really know God.

But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:8, NLT)

This means that if we express hate, we are showing others that we are not God’s children. This is the reason why so many people have questioned Trump’s claims about his faith. His actions betray his stated beliefs.

While Donald Trump’s words have made people question his spirituality, Bernie Sanders has picked up on a universal spiritual principle that the Bible teaches:

Love trumps hate.

I would qualify this statement to say that God’s love helps us trump hate. For we can’t truly love without God’s love. His love alone helps us overcome hate. If we truly love God, then God’s love will help us hate hate (or what the Bible identifies as evil.)

You who love the Lord, hate evil! He protects the lives of his godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked.” (Psalm 97:10, NLT)

If we love God, then we will hate hate. In other words, the Bible teaches us to trust God as He teaches us to love and in so doing, learn to let God’s love trump hate in our lives.

Prayer: Let God’s love trump hate in my life.

Disclaimer: While I have mentioned different names of candidates, my statements do not constitute an endorsement for any of them at this time. At the same time, I do believe that everyone should get out and vote.

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