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Love and Hate - is there somewhere in between?

Staff Member
Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Note : call…: Heb. say concerning evil, It is good, etc)


As the thread title suggests, the question we can look at here is, is there a grey area between LOVE and HATE?
You could liken it to, is there a grey area between light and darkness or good and evil? Sweet and sour or is that bitterness and sweetness? How about hard and soft?

But specifically, is there anything somewhere between LOVE and HATE?

What are love and hate; how can we explain them? Surely they are more than feelings? Thoughts? This in itself is a solid question that could take some time to properly answer, unless we settle with what we read in Scripture ...
God is Love
but what or who is Hate?

Back to the original question, Jesus said that whoever is not with Him is against Him.
He also said that we are to love our enemies and in 1John 3:15 we read that hate is as murder!
How many of you reading this have murdered someone? Most would no doubt say, "Not I", but is there a space between LOVE and HATE ?
Luke 11:23
Matthew 5:44

Can we say we hate someone and justify it based on what the other person has said or done? Or do we water it down (so we don't sound bad or worse still, sinful) and say instead that we don't like them?
Can we (or do we), can you (or do you) get away with murder? What does God say about it ?

Murder doesn't let you get away from what you have done even if the law doesn't know. It consistently haunts and tugs at your memory and riddles you with holes of guilt, a companion you don't want who never leaves it too long before knocking at the door. Most don't realize this and somehow figure that a murderer can live a carefree life, in or out of prison.

Love is about forgiveness. Can we forgive someone before we do or think anything else? How can such love be?

When Jesus taught that we should (must?) love our enemies is that because they could do with some love? Or perhaps because if we don't love our enemies we will hate them, making us murderers who will not only be plagued by the hatred but will face His judgement which is holy and just, sure and final, unbiased, having no respect of persons?

I ask these questions because not only do we need to honestly consider our ways but also because I have been caught by HATE and I want to tell you, warn you, dear reader, that at all costs avoid hate and hatred as it is cruel and has no pity, it devours not only the one you hate but also the hater, it steals your joy and displaces all peace and, dear reader hearken, it stops your prayers from being effectual, ultimately cutting you off from Him Who loves you and gave His life for you.

Scripture tells us that our conscience can be severed, seared as with a red hot knife and that we can be given over to our hearts desire, yet many seem to choose to ignore the question of whether there is a space between LOVE and HATE and live their lives kidding themselves and any who'll listen that they are justified in that space, that grey area, and think too lightly of the consequences, feeling good about themselves for the place where they stand, when after all, the person they don't like really deserves it and much more so my thoughts and feelings are not as bad.
(1Timothy 4:2)(2Thessalonians 2:11)

Is there something between LOVE and HATE ? Is it OK to be indifferent or to not care about someone?
And what about our love for God?

What does Scripture say ?

I am reminded of our Father, Who sends rain on the just AND the unjust. Matthew 5:45
And Jesus Christ Who said, "Follow Me".
Matthew 4:19 ; 8:22 ; 9:9 ; 16:24 ; 19:21
Mark 8:34 ; 10:31
Luke 5:27 ; 9:23 ; 9:59 ; 18:22
John 1:43 ; 12:26 ; 21:19 ; 21:22

Bless you ....><>

James 3:11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
Interesting and good questions. One might say that apathy or lukewarmness, i.e. neither hot nor cold, might qualify for in between, but isn't even apathy, i.e. an "I don't care about them" hate? Isn't lukewarmness toward God really hate? Isn't it turning our backs on God and ignoring what we know he says so we can go our own way without concern for what he wants? Would that not be hate? That is a good example you gave where Jesus said that whoever is not for him is against him. More later...
I'm sure there are people in the world we do not know. I would guess there are at least 6 billion people I will never meet personally.
Can we love them if we don't know them? Yes and no... (how's that for confusing?)

There are people in our lives, I think God puts them in our paths. We are related to some of them, we work with some of them,
we go to church with some of them, we chat on TalkJesus with some of them. These are people we know well enough to have
an opinion about. Maybe we don't think about our feelings for them, but at some level we love or we hate them.

Love and hate are strong words. Like and dislike are more ...ummm... politically correct.
And yet Jesus says even dislike is the same as murder or hate. Matt 5:22; ( 1 Jn 3:15; )

We have to love even those who hate us. Luke 6:27;

Sometimes certain translations of the Bible are difficult to understand... or are they?

Luke 14:26; “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.

What does "hate" mean in this passage? Literal hate? Or does it simply mean... "like them less than Me (Jesus)"

We cannot hate. 1 Jn 4:20; and yet we are told to hate our family? My take is.. it means do not put them higher than God.
Yet many people accept adultery, homosexuality, false doctrines, because someone in their family is this way.
We can hate the sin.. but love the person. (How difficult is that sometimes?)

Those are extreme examples, but what about the "not so extreme". I don't go to church because my son or daughter doesn't like it.
I don't pray because my husband or wife doesn't like it. I don't read the Bible because my mother or father doesn't like it.
Are we loving them more than we love God?

How can we love people we've never met personally? We can pray for them. Pray for their leaders. Their countries, Give them food. Send money for clothing and shelter.
(Sheep and Goats - Matt 25)

What about your next door neighbor? Matt 5:43; Matt 19:19; Matt 22:39; Mark 12:31; etc...
Do you love them? Even Paul mentions this. Rom 13:8-10; Gal 5:14; and James (Jas 2:8; )
Staff Member
Is there something between LOVE and HATE ? Is it OK to be indifferent or to not care about someone?
And what about our love for God?
My answer would be that we currently exist in that area that is between Love & Hate. Between Loving God whole heartedly & half heartedly.
I would call that imperfection at it's worse, or the fence that many are sitting on who vacillate between what is Good & what is Evil. Light & Darkness if you will. The believer has that hope that one day all of that "will" change. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12 Which the believer should be proactive in moving towards. Unlike the unbeliever who has no Hope without Christ Jesus.

Some would also call it the battle between the carnal & the spiritual. We like to use the scripture that states "And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me." 2 Corinthians 12:9 Even still it doesn't take away completely the weakness that is "us", but focusing on using it to benefit our continued growth with Christ in us. So, that all may see this in you. "Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all." 1 Timothy 4:15

The operative word that you see in Isaiah 5:20 is either "put/substitute". Which I see as meaning that it is an action purposely done and not one that is unconsciously done as part of the imperfection of man. This is one who is aware of the difference and does it anyway. Not because of the sinful nature that is still being battled in the flesh but despite this battle they willfully do it! The question I would then have if this is the believer, were they ever really what one would call "saved"? or is this one who does this an example of grieving the Holy Spirit. So that when it reaches a point that the individual can no longer tell the difference, he is then lost? I don't know. Possible if one believes salvation can be lost. My intent is not to open that particular debate here so my brothers & sisters in Christ Jesus who read this part. Please don't pursue that thought in this thread. Much appreciated! :) Just spreading my spirit wide in order to capture as much of this thread as possible!

As far as not caring for another. Lacking compassion is difficult, but happens all to often as the days continue to darken in the hearts of man. Maybe, not truly understanding or applying it to oneself the first part of 1 Corinthians 15:10 "But by the grace of God I am what I am,..." or looking to like our Lord who we seek to be like would be the example we as believers should set for ourselves to emulate "Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd." Matthew 9:36 This should also call us to action which the succeeding verses speak of. Not doing so in at least prayer, might be easily seen as not caring. Hummm.....

Sigh...my lunch time is over and I must give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar! Apologies brother if I didn't really deal with the point of the thread or help guide it in a fruitful direction. Love you dearly.

With the Love of Christ Jesus.
"As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." Rom 9:13

As has been said or implied by others here the "in between place" is not the "good place":

"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." Rev 3:15-16

The "cold" are those not in His mouth at all. They still have hope of finding or being found of the Lord and becoming hot. Many have apparently become lukewarm which is in the right direction, but it is not the place to stop:

Those who have been in His mouth but have not been moving toward a deeper place in Him are the ones who will be spit out if they don't move deeper [grow toward Him].

The thing to hate is our old man and the ways of our old man, but only the "new man" is able to tell the difference and will not kill the wrong things. We need to learn how to "kill the old man" [kill hate] until he is finally and completely dead.

The place where the old man works is shown here:

"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." I John 2:16

Each of us is for us the "world" made of a bit of clay. But, is there a new man within us?

So who among us is a "killer"?

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Ecc 3:1
"A time to kill, and a time to heal;.." Ecc 3:3

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