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Why I Am Starting to Hate the Word “Hater”

June 4, 2012

DeMarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys was recently asked what he thought about the prediction made by some sports prognosticators that his team would only win 8 games this season.  “Those people are haters, and I don’t listen to them,” he replied.  Really?  Are they really predicting 8 wins for your team because they have personal hatred for you and your teammates? 

By the way, I am a fan of the Cowboys and of Ware.  So, no, I’m not a hater. 

The  word “hater” is overused and becoming destructive.  I hear it on TV, radio, and other media.  I see it on Facebook.  If you don’t like someone else’s opinion about you or your actions, apparently all  you have to do is call them a “hater” and you are justified.  That’s one way to try to absolve sins.

If you google the term, you will find that “hater” basically refers to negative and jealous people who speak critically about others in order to spread their hate.  I get this.  There are some people who will never be pleased.  They constantly spew toxic negativity on those around them.  I see value in not giving power to every voice around us. 

However, the reason I am starting to hate the word “hater” is because it has come to mean something else.  It is yet another way that we justify ourselves and block anyone else from holding us accountable.  All I have to do is lay down the “hater” card, and I have villainized those who disagree with me and have justified myself.  This word is just one more tool in a culture that refuses to be challenged and has too much entitlement to listen to others for self-improvement.

Furthermore, taken to an extreme, the idea of “hater” sends us down a path in which we are never allowed to have values and opinions about others, even when their actions are heinous.  It destroys our ability to seek justice.  For instance, am I a “hater” because I can’t stand child abuse?  What right do I have to “hate” on someone if they want to abuse a child?  You can see that anything can be justified.  Believe me, I am not in favor of legalistic and critical Christianity.  But I am not in favor of this opposite extreme, either. 

I’m afraid the concept of “hater” is producing a self-justified, unteachable, and defensive mindset that is bankrupt when it comes to personal growth.  Ironically, when someone calls others “haters,” they come across as being hate-filled and defensive.  Pointing out haters seems to increase the amount of hate in the world.  Funny, isn’t it?

Jesus calls us to live with humility.  Humility produces acknowledgment that we are imperfect, we need to grow, and we have much to learn from others.  Yes, we are told not to judge others because it is wrong for us to ignore the logs in our own eyes while we point out the splinter in the eyes of others (Matt. 7:1-4).  What is Jesus’ remedy?  It is to first remove the log so that you can see clearly to aid your friend with the splinter (Matt. 7:5). 

But even more important is the fact that apart from Jesus, we seek our own justification from sins.  Self-justification by calling others “haters” is just a new form of it.  It just doesn’t work. 

Villainizing others to make yourself feel better will only isolate you, embitter you, and leave your soul stained with sin.  The only way to be justified is through the loving sacrifice of Christ.  No amount of human effort can unload our sins from our conscience.  Because He loves you, Jesus is willing to transfer those sins upon Himself.  That’s the gospel. 

Christ became the “hated” so that we can finally be free.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2012 3:00 pm

    You have become a hater! Haha! Just kidding! Great post. People really should stop villainizing people who disagree with them or dont think they are God’s gift to creation! Love the insights.

    Sidenote: Cowboys will be a 6 win team at best this year…GO SKINS!!

  2. June 4, 2012 3:22 pm

    It is interesting that Christians don’t seem to be allowed to say something is sin, no matter how politely they do it, without being accused as a hater. I recently asked someone if they would be offended if I said I believe homosexuality is wrong, as my personal conviction, if I am not homophobic, etc….It was a very sincere question because I wondered if they had a problem with my view or just the way Christians are handling the discussion about this issue. They said yes, they’d be very offended. We are sometimes labeled haters by simply stating our moral convictions even if we aren’t being haters at all…

  3. June 5, 2012 9:32 pm

    I too am a Cowboys fan and think they will go 8-8 next year if they are lucky. Hope that doesn’t make me a “hater.” I’m just a realist. Generally speaking, sports teams that are “hated” usually are very successful ones that win a lot. Your definition included the word jealous. The Cowboys haven’t been impressive in quite a while so the number of “haters” must be in decline. What is there to be jealous of now? They were 8-8 last year.

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