We might be driven by our loves, but we are often known for our hates. Want notoriety? Be a hater. People will remember. Post your hate online and people will like your hate. Weird, but true. Tell what you dislike about the Oscars and the Super Bowl and politics and fast food and even church. It’s easy. Too easy. If you listen to us talk, you’d think we hate everything.
People hate autocorrect on their phone or the new fries at Wendy’s or that the ice cream machine at McDonald’s is always broken. People hate the wi-fi on the plane and the ticketing system on the transit. People hate Comcast and they hate AT&T. They hate big government, big oil, and big tech. They hate the media, the mainstream media, the liberal media, and social media.They hate Republicans. They hate Democrats. They hate Evangelicals. They hate Woke. They hate LeBron and hate the Warriors and hate Brady. Approval ratings for the past four presidents have been historically low, showing that we hate POTUS at record levels. Either we happened to elect the worst four men in the history of the presidency or we might be addicted to the hate. I hate to say, but it’s the latter.
Recently Derek Thompson had Chuck Klosterman on his Plain English podcast to talk about how we are becoming more defined by what we hate than what we love. At some point this becomes weird. Love and hate are powerful emotions that can be used for good and evil. But one of them leaves me feeling better at night–the other can make us miserable. In the age of social media, it’s a tough reminder that we don’t have to have an opinion on every single thing that happens in the world. Even worse, having a negative opinion on everything can make us feel terrible. The hate we give becomes the hate we live.
The word love is used five times more in the Bible than hate. That’s good, because love generates joy, generosity, and encouragement. Hate puts us in a bad spot. Can you imagine a pipe that dispenses more toxic chemicals than fresh water? That’s what the heart is like when it’s devoted to hate.
Hate is easy and it can be cheap. But it gives us what we deserve. A pretty shallow, flimsy life that is intimately aware of what we detest, but not particularly oriented toward our truest affections. Love will fill us with energy, passion, and hope. Choose love. It never fails.