Just Because We Disagree Doesn’t Mean I Hate You
by Jacob Hudgins
“Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?”(Gal 4:16).
It has become common in popular discourse to accuse others of being hateful. If you are on the other side of an issue from me, you are a bigot, misogynist, or hatemonger. Yet just because we disagree doesn’t mean I hate you.
Sometimes love prompts hard words. Jesus is approached by a rich young ruler wanting to know how to have eternal life. “And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me’”(Mark 10:21). Jesus loves the man and his love leads him to tell him difficult words that make him sad (Mark 10:22). The truth can hurt, but the Bible paints truth-telling as an act of love (Eph 4:15, 25). I love you too much to hide the truth from you.
This is important because we often think that love means only doing and saying things that other people like. This idea doesn’t stand under examination. Love also means rescuing, challenging, and helping others grow (Gal 6:1-2, James 5:19-20). So we might disagree about an issue, about what is appropriate, about what the government should do, or about whether some matter is right or wrong—but that doesn’t mean I hate you.
Christians should always be prepared to engage with people who disagree “with gentleness and respect”(1 Pet 3:15). Let’s make sure that those we disagree with know of our great love for them, God, and the truth.