Can hate ever be a good thing?

Gordie Jackson
4 min readSep 2, 2018

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters — yes, even his own life — he cannot be my disciple.”

On first reading these words you might attribute them to a cult leader with evil intent. You would probably like me be surprised that they are attributed to Jesus.

The marketing department does what marketing departments do, give us an impression. Most of us have an impression that Jesus was all love yet here we have a quirk the word hate is used.

I did hear it said recently that hate is a form of love! I guess the strength of hate is equalled only with the strength of love. At school, it was said you got to love before you hate.

Could you imagine if all those things we say we hate we actually love?

I have heard people say they hate their lives perhaps they are closer to Jesus than they thought.

What is there to hate? Ok, let’s have a go at hating.

I hate the illusions of life. Perhaps that is what Jesus is speaking of that those things we think we love we have to hate. We love to be honoured and respected yet it usually happens only we have done something deserving. What if we were to hate that we were only honoured and respected because we were deserving.

Perhaps we want to be honoured and respected for being. Whatever we seek from others we seek therefore we honour and respect all simply because they are.

I hate that success is defined by what you accumulate or status you have.

So what about hating your family. Well, some may already. They feel they got such a raw deal and were hurt repeatedly that hate comes easy. When love doesn’t come hate comes easy.

So hate family, wife. What is that we are seeking to hate?

My sense is that we see through our own needs that we hate that we need to feel approved by others including family, spouse.

It could be easy to miss the bit at the end, ‘hate his own life’. Easy to hate others but is it so easy to hate our own lives?

The hate I sense again is that we bought into an illusion that life was about approval and status.

Is it that Jesus is saying that it is only when we hate, that we can actually find love? It is only when we give up what we think is love that we find it?

Paradox after paradox.

It is kinda like only when you accept you are a sinner that you can be forgiven. For as long as you don’t believe you don’t experience.

The stories come to mind of Abraham being asked to kill his son as a sacrifice and indeed Christ being sent to die to redeem the world how sick is that?

But there is another way to see it actually maybe it can’t be seen it can only be experienced.

It is perhaps only when we hate that we have to find something powerful enough to flip us over and when we are it is a greater love than we ever knew.

Hate tells us that we need to find another way. If we have never hated we have never fully felt. It is only when we fully feel that bizarre as it sounds a transformation occurs.

Who are what have I hated?

Liver, yet it almost comes more quickly to mind than what I love to eat.

A woman once wrote in a letter, “Do you hate your enemies more than you love your children?”

Have I hated family? Initially, you want to say no but perhaps that is the very thing Jesus is talking about you have to be prepared to say you hate.

Yes, there are things that I have hated about my father, my mother, my siblings, my wife, my child, my life.

This is honesty — he who can’t admit his own hate has not acknowledged his life fully.

Jesus does not ask have you hated others he talks about those closest to us. Could it be that those we think we hate we project the hate we have for those we believe we can’t hate?

So the hate I developed for Nationalists as a kid was really wanting to legitimately direct my anger on another.

You hate me but I am not even what you hate. What you think I am is not for me to own or defend. I have separated myself into something else and now I see that there is no separation, we are one.




Gordie Jackson

Speaks with a Northern Irish accent, lives in Hertfordshire, England.