2020 is the year we love to hate. We hate COVID-19 and all the challenges and hardships that it has brought — masks, social distancing, paranoia, travel restrictions, working and schooling from home, Zoom meetings, hand sanitizer, quarantines, daily death counts, promises of vaccines, and countless news briefs.
2020 is the year we love to hate. Some hate the social injustices of arrests and brutalities of Blacks at the hands of police, the complacency of the power brokers of the status quo, the lack of empathy on the plight of people of color, the inequities of inner city housing and education, the shortage of quality jobs with livable wages and blatant racism.
2020 is the year we love to hate. We hate all that an election cycle brings — shameless mudslinging campaigns, political commercials between every TV show, postcards stuffed into mailboxes, partisan memes on social media, media bias, venomous attacks on opponents, close friendships fractured, claims of election fraud and counting and recounting ballots.
If 2020 is the year of hate, let’s not exclude God. There are some things God hates, too. In Proverbs 6:16-19, seven things are listed that God hates. Their application to 2020 is stunning: “haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” At any given moment in 2020, at least one of these seven “hates” directly applied.
Some people struggle with how a loving God could be hateful. Doesn’t the Bible say that God is love? Yes, God is love (1 John 4:8, 16), but he hates the things that ruin people’s lives. Although we struggle to do it, God can perfectly love the sinner and hate the sin. Romans 5:8 reminds us that “God demonstrates his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
We survivors of 2020 put an asterisk beside this year as the year we love to hate. Everyone I know is really looking forward to putting 2020 in the rearview mirror. No one wants another year like this one. There’s been enough hate for several lifetimes, so let’s put the hate behind us. Regardless of the calendar year or our personal circumstances, love is always the better choice.
“May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all” (1 Thessalonians 3:12).