Sin into a Proper Noun

Sometimes things stick out that make you see from a different angle. It might be a typo. For example, when I type the name Chris, I often need to delete a “t” from the end because my muscle memory first types “Christ.” But, for a Christian named Chris, wouldn’t he appreciate being so easily mistaken for his Christlikeness?

It wasn’t a typo, but I had a different angle on hate this past week. Some of us are reading The Iliad and hate is used with a capital H. It’s because in the story Hate is a god (lowercase g).

Hate, whose wrath is relentless, she is the sister and companion of murderous Ares, she who is only a little thing at first, but thereafter grows until she strides on earth with her head striking heaven. (142)

Later Hate comes to watch the war between the Greeks and the Trojans, and she is also called “the Lady of Sorrow.” But unlike the Man of Sorrows who carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:3-6), Hate is the Lady of Sorrow because she gives sorrow to others. She delighted to see men attack each other like wolves.

Hate is not actually a god, but sin does enslave. Hate can work even in believers. “Whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness” (1 John 2:11). “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20).

We are monotheists by confession, but how many gods are in our sinful hearts? If we turned the sin into a proper noun, would you be seen as worshipping another? Bitterness? Anger? Drunkenness? Rivalry?

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