Hate what is evil; cling to what is good..—Romans 12:9b NIV
The word hate seems almost totally opposed to the rest of Scripture. But we are told in Ecclesiastes, that there is a time to hate. It is hard for us to imagine God hating anything. I think that is because we cannot comprehend the depth of His love for us and the price He paid to redeem us. God hates sin, but He loves the sinner. We are to follow His example in this. In our world, we are subjected to so much evil that we are losing our sensibilities to it. We must be very careful in our use of hate. satan will try to trick us into hating the sinner as well as the sin.
As C S Lewis says in his book “The Screwtape Letters”:
The demonic objective is to convince the hater that his/her hate is justified. The people who are being hated, deserve to be hated. Satan will even pervert the scripture in the cause of hate.
Hating the sinner is never justified. So, after Paul tells us to hate what is evil, he immediately reminds us to “cling to what is good”. We must keep our focus on Jesus, if we are to cling to what is good. If we learn to truly hate what is evil, there are times when we will have to speak out against it. We need to pray without ceasing for discernment and boldness to do just that. Jesus shows us this example when He chased the money changers out of the temple.