The “Love”-“Hate” Relationship (mid-series review/redux)

This past summer I began a series exploring the relationship between “love” and “hate.”  Given the intensifying, world-shaping focus on “hate” in our cultural and political environment today, I felt an urging in my spirit to begin exploring this matter from God’s perspective.  As I followed the “bread crumbs” of understanding that the Holy Spirit began to lay out, they led me to a set of “keys” that unlocked a myriad of doors with expansive hallways.

I began to realize that this “love”-“hate” relationship, in its dynamic simplicity and yet pervasive complexity, is fundamental to all things human: psychology, sociology, and even spirituality.  As I’ve searched to see if this understanding has been explored and expressed similarly elsewhere, in both the Christian and secular world, I found a surprising lack of incisive inquiry into and clear analysis of this most fundamental issue.  So I feel grateful and also responsible to share this perspective with those who will take time to consider it.

In the first three parts of this series, I sought to, as simply as possible, lay out the initial bread crumbs that led me to the set of keys and to show in some practical applications how these can help to unlock some of our personal and psychological conditions.

I was in the midst of preparing Part 4 in the series when I was interrupted in my spirit by what I can only describe as a prolonged “trumpet blast.”  (I spoke about that experience in the post The Final Call to Repentance and The Return.)  Along with that very distinct spiritual impression came a prophetic burden to focus a number of timely blog posts on the subjects of repentance, prayer, and intercession for our nation.

Although that spiritual burden still remains,  I now feel it is timely to return to this unfinished series and see it through to its completion.  (Indeed, I believe the best is yet to come! 😉 )  Because the three-fold foundation of this teaching was shared so long ago, however, and there are also those who might not have read the initial posts, it seems prudent to give a mid-series explanation and review at this point before launching into its final parts.

I do want to emphasize in giving this review how important it is to “follow the bread crumbs” from the beginning and truly grasp the “keys.”  Some of the concepts may seem unfamiliar, surprising, or even a bit challenging to grasp at first.  Although the principles themselves are profoundly simple, in their application they are simply profound, and so it may take some time and consideration in order to process and truly make them your own.

I would encourage you then, not to move on until you truly “get it!”  If you do, I think you’ll find that your eyes are opened in an unexpected way and you will begin to see the world, and even your relationship with God, with a whole new level of clarity.  That has been my experience at least, and I hope and trust it will be yours as well!

If you haven’t read the initial posts or you’d like a full refresher, then, you may navigate to them using the following links:
Part 1: “Love”
Part 2: “Hate”
Part 3: “Generational Dynamics”

For those who’ve read and “tracked” with the initial posts and merely need a quick refresher, I’ve “bulleted” the main points of each part below for your review and consideration.  (If at any point you’d like a more thorough explanation, you may also click the heading for each part and refer back to the original posts.)

~ ~ ~

The “Love”-“Hate” Relationship
Overview: Parts 1-3

Part 1 – “Love”

    • Love comes from God.
    • Love has as its very essence the ascribing and giving of value.
    • Love ascribes value and sacrificially gives that which is of value to its recipients.
    • Love is both a virtue of the heart and a corresponding outward action; a passive noun and an active verb.
    • Love is also “the perfect bond of unity” (Col. 3:14 NAS) and as such creates a drawing, unifying effect.
    • Love, therefore, is an esteeming affection, a beneficial/sacrificial action, and a drawing/unifying effect, all in one.

Part 2  – “Hate”

    • Hate is the “unexpected child of a virtuous mother”: LOVE.
    • The biblical concept of “hate” is derived from the protective nature of love (see 1 Corinthians 13:7.)
    • We hate that which opposes, threatens, and/or violates what we love!
    • Whatever we hate, therefore, can be traced back to something that we love being opposed, threatened and/or violated.
    • These “two sides of the same coin”, love and hate, are proportional.  The greater the love, the greater the hate that is generated towards that which opposes, threatens, and/or violates what is loved!  If we did not love, neither would we hate.
    • Hate, in and of itself, is morally indeterminate.  Its moral character, whether good, neutral, or evil, is established by the moral nature of the love it is derived from, as well as its motivation, focus, and manifestation.
    • The primary Hebrew word for “hate” is “sane” (pronounced “saw-nay”)  which carries the primary meaning of rejection and separation.
    • The original Hebrew language is pictographic in nature with the individual letters depicting a certain meaning.  “Sane” is comprised of letters that depict a thorn and seed.
    • The function of a thorn is to create rejection and separation.  The function of seed is to facilitate generation and reproduction.  Hate has the effect of fulfilling all of these functions.

Part 3 – “Generational Dynamics”

    • Working together, the love-hate dynamic is the primary force that creates, contours, and characterizes most of the psychological, sociological, and spiritual conditions generating in and from the human heart.
    • In the complexity of the heart, both “loves” and “hates” each have the power to generate additional “loves” and “hates” as they intersect and interact with each other and with those things which either ally or are at enmity with them.
    • These “generational dynamics” follow certain principles which are essential to understand to rightly discern and wisely engage with most human conditions, whether psychological, sociological, or spiritual.
    • These generational dynamics yield a four-fold set of keys that help to unlock the complexities of the human heart:
      • Key #1 – “First generation loves” are unique from all else that follows.
        • A “first generation love” is derived simply and purely from the inherent value ascribed to an object on its own terms.
        • All that is generated thereafter, from the “first generation hate” to the “secondary and subsequent generations” of both love and hate, are mixtures of whatever inherent value may be ascribed to the object on its own terms, plus or minus whatever effectual value, the object has in relation to the loves or hates that it interacts with, whether positively or negatively(The “peanut butter pizza” example given in Part 3 helps to illustrate this point. 😉 )
        •  “First generation loves” are the initiating, primary forces in the “love”-“hate” relationship and through their protective nature are alone responsible for generating “first generation hates.”
      • Key #2 – In “secondary and subsequent generations” of the “love”-“hate” relationship, both loves and hates each have the power to generate additional loves and additional hates according to set principles.
        • These generational dynamics may most easily be understood by employing the well-known phrase: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and then by further re-wording it to show three additional possible variations. (Employed in this way, we should understand that “enemy” relates to hate, and “friend” to love.  Similarly, hate connotes a negative value, while love a positive one.)
        • In the original phrase, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” a double-negative of hate (“The enemy of my enemy”) surprisingly generates a new, single positive of love (“is my friend.”)  This illustrates how existing hates can create new loves in the secondary and subsequent generations of the “love”-“hate” relationship.
        • Re-wording the phrase to be, “The friend of my friend is my friend,”  illustrates how a double positive of love (“The friend of my friend…”) generates a new positive of love (“is my friend.”)
        • Thus, both double negatives of hate and double positives of love each generate new positives of love in the secondary and subsequent generations of the “love”-“hate” relationship.
        • Further, by re-wording the phrase to be either, “The enemy of my friend is my enemy,” or “The friend of my enemy is my enemy,” it illustrates, in both cases, how a single positive of love (“friend”) interacting with a single negative of hate (“enemy”), generates a new single negative of hate (“is my enemy.”)
        • All loves are not the same, therefore, with some being “first generation loves” based on inherent value alone (as in Key #1), some being the product of a double negative of hates, some being the product of a double positive of loves (as in Key #2), and some being a combination of two or more of these generational dynamics.
        • Further, not all hates are the same, with some being “first generation hates” (as in Key #1 – springing from their enmity towards a “first generation love”) and others being “secondary or subsequent hates” as either the product of a single positive of love interacting with a single negative of hate, vice versa (as in Key #2), or a combination of two or more of these generational dynamics..
      • Key #3 – Most conditions and situations are a mixture of “first”, “secondary” and “subsequent” generations of differing loves and hates.
        • These all integrate together in a complex, counter-balancing, competing, complementing, flipping, fortifying, and re-generating way to form some sort of  internal “algorithm” that produces a uniquely expressed outcome!
        • As such, most conditions and situations cannot simply be taken at face value but must be discerned and engaged with at deeper levels.
      • Key #4 – In order to rightly discern and wisely engage with any condition or situation, the secondary and subsequent layers of loves and hates must be peeled back until the primary “first generation love(s) that generate all else thereafter are uncovered.
        • Only as we rightly discern a situation or condition at this primary, root level can we rightly perceive the most generative and formative matters of the heart that are ultimately at work.
        • Only as we wisely engage with a matter at this primary, root level, in love and in truth, can true transformation and change potentially take place while maintaining the unity that comes from love.
        • This is the ultimate key in the key set!

~ ~ ~

In Part 3 of this series, I introduced these “keys” and gave some examples that related primarily in the realm of personal and psychological conditions.  The next two posts (which will follow shortly) will apply these “keys” primarily in the realm of interpersonal and sociological situations, especially focusing on how we may lovingly and wisely engage with others who may differ from us culturally, politically, and/or religiously.  I will close out this series by applying these principles to the spiritual life in relationship with God and His people.

I look forward to exploring with you these most elemental dynamics of the human heart which form and fashion the full expression of our lives as those made in the image and likeness of HIM who is LOVE!

About David Bolton

Following Him who is the Way; learning of Him who is the Truth; living by Him who is the Life. - John 14:6
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3 Responses to The “Love”-“Hate” Relationship (mid-series review/redux)

  1. Lloyd says:

    Intensely interesting, David!


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