Hate is a strong word.

When I say, “I hate Brussel sprouts”, it means I could go my whole life without ever tasting another one and die a happy man. Now, those of you who love Brussel sprouts: stop right now.

Don’t bother.

I know that you want to send me the recipe I will love or even worse drop a dish by my house. Don’t. I think Brussel sprouts are liars. There is nothing “sprouty” about them. They should be called what they are…nasty tiny cabbages. If they were properly named everyone would hate them. The consequence of hating Brussel sprouts is pretty small. I might upset someone from Belgium but I can always tell them I love their waffles. Hating a person is different.

Hating a person can be both contagious and addictive which makes it extremely powerful. I say that hate is contagious because the people I see who are most hated are the ones who people view as the most hateful.

It seems easy to hate a hater for hating.

You can easily catch it from the people who hate you. But we also like to share our reasons for hate with people who may feel the same way.

That’s one of the phenomena happening with social media. We share stories with our friends that help reinforce why we hate certain people or politicians. As Christians, we are supposed to be different. We are supposed to love our enemies instead of hate our enemies. If you are a Christian, the virus of hatred stops with you.

But hate is also addictive, and the addiction is why we love to hate. I can only hate someone I feel superior to. Usually it’s a person who has done something I have never done and feel like I would never do. Hate is pride disguised as righteous indignation. There are very few things more powerful than justified disdain. It’s an opiate for your soul. Once you start feeding your soul righteous indignation it’s really hard to quit. Maybe that’s why Paul the Apostle reminded himself that he was the worst sinner he knew.

I decided to write on hatred because it’s making me sad.

Our country seems more hateful than ever and if it’s going to stop it has to stop with us. We are people who know we are saved only by grace and that means Jesus loved us when we were his enemies. This is our time to be like Jesus. It’s more important than ever.