14 Seek good, not evil,
that you may live.
Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you,
just as you say he is.
15 Hate evil, love good;
maintain justice in the courts.
Perhaps the LORD God Almighty will have mercy
on the remnant of Joseph.
Be good, drive safe, mind your manners. We say these kinds of things to people in hopes that they will be good. God tells us these kinds of things, too. He wants us to seek good and not evil. He desires that we fill our thoughts, our lives with good. And of course the only real things that are good are found in Him. He wants to be our source of life and the dwelling place of our minds.
In Amos 5, He starts with language that says to seek good, but then goes on to instruct us to love it… even to the point of hating evil. Now I hate evil as much as the next person, but I think we’ve got a little issue going on with the “hate evil” concept. For some reason, this idea so often turns us on people. An example from popular culture: I despise the murder of children. I really do. I don’t like it one bit. In fact, I hate it. But when Christians take it upon themselves to kill an abortion doctor, they have just crossed a very serious line. The Bible does not instruct us to hate people, but rather evil.
Some Christians turn their hatred on people whose lifestyles they would consider evil. God didn’t ever tell us to do that. In fact, hating people who are in sin is just as despicable as the sin you are hating. Here’s an idea, start by hating the evil in your own life and do something about it. Ask God to refine you and to turn your heart toward good and toward love. Once you have started dealing with yourself, begin to pray against the evil one who is deceiving the world. Pray for those in bondage and sin. Contend for those whose lives are contaminated, lost, and hopeless. Yes, hate that evil! Fight against it with holy fervor. Just make sure to love people in the process.