Because I love your commands more than gold, more than pure gold,
and because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong path
It takes a passionate love for God and His Word to develop in us the motivating force to “hate every wrong path.” It is God’s will that we become lovers of truth so that we will not be partakers of evil. If we do not hate evil then we will not have a strong enough incentive to turn from evil in our actions, thoughts and desires.
Christians should be lovers of truth not only in relation to who God is, but also as it relates to life in general. We should want truth to permeate all of life—family, church, entertainment, society, business, culture, science, education and government. However, this is not the condition of America as a whole and the church specifically.
One sign that we are not being lovers of truth is when we begin to separate truth from practice. Today’s Christians are not disturbed over this grave incongruity. If we do not love the truth then we will by default love evil. It is irrelevant if we repackage evil with religious words or politically correct rhetoric, evil will always be evil.
Shortly after Barak Obama was sworn in as president, I was ministering at an urban church. The pastor’s daughter proudly wore her Obama shirt displaying that her candidate of “Change” was now president. There was a large disparity between her political views and Biblical Christianity. Without the least inclination to the fact, she had developed a secular worldview rather than one that was authentically Christian.
There are serious inconsistencies with this young college student’s faith on an intellectual, moral and spiritual basis. Though she is Christian, her decision to vote for an unrighteous man – that aggressively promotes abortion, homosexuality and many other issues blatantly anti-Christian – are irreconcilable with the teaching of Scripture. One primary reason she voted as she did is that she failed to be a lover of truth.
To claim that we love truth but not promote the truth as it relates to all of life is a contradiction— a form of hypocrisy. How can we be lovers of truth while we practice or support evil in any form? Similarly, how can we vote for a candidate that advocates evil? The Lord commands us to, “Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts (Amos 5:15). This means that we should be lovers of truth as it relates to politics and government just as much as we love it working in our home or church.
While sitting in the kitchen of the pastor’s house I asked his daughter why she voted for a candidate that aggressively promotes the killing of unborn children. Her response typifies how people can sanction and promote evil while claiming to be Christian. “Well, I don’t believe in abortion, but abortion is a woman’s own choice and I have to respect the personal choices of others.” Her statement betrays her secular worldview that is permeated with moral relativism. Women should never have the right to murder anyone, whether it’s their unborn babies, husbands or parents!
One reason why we live with this personal dichotomy between believing in truth and practicing evil is that we do not love God as we claim. Paul taught that, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth” (1 Cor. 13:6). And the Psalmist admonished, “Let those who love the LORD hate evil” (Ps. 97:10). Love for God will always produce hatred for evil, but never of people. To love any expression of evil is to hate the truth and hatred for truth is actually hatred for God Himself.
The Scriptures teach that the reason people die in their sin and spend an eternity in hell is because, “they refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2 Thes. 2:10). When people choose to love God they begin to hate evil. At times we may be ignorant of what constitutes evil. Nevertheless, to remain ignorant of evil causes us to practice or justify evil. We were given God’s Word so that we can walk securely in this corrupt world. If we do not know the Word, then we have nobody to blame but ourselves. We cannot blame others for our willful ignorance of the truth.
Another reason why people love evil is that they do not fear God (this includes professing believers). Solomon wrote, “To fear the LORD is to hate evil” (Pr. 8:13a). Take for example watching TV and movies. “Christians” that do not fear God will watch that which is evil. This exposes their blatant hypocrisy. If we hated evil, we would hate every expression of evil, even that which touches entertainment.
It is interesting to note that the next statement in Pr. 8:13 is made by the Lord, “I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” God declares once again that He unequivocally hates all evil. Since God hates evil, who do we think we are to love it, promote it, vote for it or cover it up?
True believers are called to hate evil just like God does. That is why Paul admonished us to, “Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil” (1 Thes. 5:21-22). Hatred of evil causes people to abandon every practice of evil and to avoid its mere appearance. This includes the evil of self-righteousness which is the ugliest form of pride. Religious pride is self-exalting and people debasing. It makes people think that they are good when they are inherently wicked. Self-righteousness turns believers into Pharisees and sets them on an equal path to hell as Jesus proclaimed (Mt. 23:15).
So what are we to do when we see our hypocrisy, when truth and evil collide in our very bosoms? We need to apply three truths to our lives. The first is to do a thorough job of repenting. Fall at Jesus’ feet and plead for forgiveness and character transformation. We are powerless to change ourselves for good by ourselves. By living a lifestyle of repentance, we will keep a tender heart before God so that He can reprove us as necessary. To live a lifestyle of repentance we must be quick to repent which produces the desire to straighten out the crooked areas of our lives and correct our erroneous ways of thinking.
Next, we must become good students of the Word so that we know, love and live the truth. When we know the truth, we will be able to discern good and evil so we can apply the truth to all of life, not just in matters of faith. By knowing the Word we can develop an authentic Christian worldview that can empower us to stand against all the lies and assaults of hell.
Finally, we must become true lovers of God. Those who are lovers of God will fear God and be passionate about knowing and living the truth. Anyone who loves God will hate lies. Since God is Truth, He is the author of truth and speaks nothing but truth (Jn. 14:6). When we truly love God we will love, practice and promote the truth. It cannot be otherwise.
Glenn Meldrum has been a national evangelist since 1997. Prior to his calling as an evangelist he pastored for 15 years. He is ordained and holds an M.A. in theology and church history from Ashland Theological Seminary. Visit www.ihpministry.com for articles, sermons, books and information on Glenn Meldrum and In His Presence Ministries.