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Why Does God Hate Sin?

Kelly-Jayne McGlynn | CrosswalkHeadlines Contributor | Updated: Oct 17, 2023
Why Does God Hate Sin?

Why Does God Hate Sin?

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Don’t hate the sinner, hate the sin?”

It’s taken a painful personal experience, but I finally understand this one, and I think it’s important to talk about it.

We intellectually know God hates sin but loves us, but sometimes, we water down God’s hatred of sin or let that hatred bleed into what we assume he thinks of us. We either justify sin as “not that bad” or believe God is continually angry or disappointed with us.

It has taken seeing someone I love dearly choose sin and, in turn, choose to hurt themselves to realize how God must feel about us. Not hatred of us because of our sin, but hatred of sin because of what it does to us–his beloved.

I won’t go into detail, but I’ll just tell you that whenever I think of this situation my loved one is in, it breaks my heart. It causes a pit in my stomach and a lump in my throat. I want so much better for them because I love them so much–and that’s why I hate the sin they are choosing so intensely.

My love for them doesn’t make the sin any less sinful. And the sin doesn’t change my love for them in the slightest. If anything, it just intensifies my longing for them to experience the good things God wants for all of us, all the time! The Garden of Eden is a stark reminder of this. 

The next time you’re confronted with your own sinfulness, keep these two truths in mind at the same time:

1. God hates your sin.

Proverbs 6:16-19 gives us a stark reminder of God’s true feelings about sin:

“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”

It can feel harsh to hear about how much God utterly detests things we do, some every single day. No human has ever gone a single day–probably not even a single minute–without committing an act or thinking a thought God hates.

Why does he hate sin so much? Is it because it insults him, or is it unfair to him? Possibly, to some degree. But I think it really comes down to how he sees what it does to us.

I’ve heard it said that when we fail to hate our sin as God does, it’s equivalent to witnessing a dog brutally attacking our darling baby, inviting it in for dinner the next day, and patting its head.

When we see the harm our sin causes the way God does, we begin to understand his hatred of it. And therefore, we take it seriously. We don’t water it down. We ensure the vicious beast of sin is as far from us as possible.

And we don’t let sin mar our belief in God’s affection for us.

2. God doesn’t let your sin change how he feels about you.

It’s difficult to hold these truths in our hearts simultaneously, but it’s a tension God can teach us. Romans 5 shows this to us beautifully. 

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly… God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (vs. 6, 8).

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Not before we had ever sinned or repented, and certainly not before we had become perfect (which will never happen here on earth)--but while we were still active sinners. Lovers of sin, even.

This shows us that while it is true God does hate our sins, he still sees us as infinitely worth saving and being with. To God, we are worth doing anything and everything for, including sending his very own son to die for us.

This propels us towards repentance even more fervently because we can trust that when God convicts our hearts of sin, it’s out of care, not because he withholds from us. We can trust the words of Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The next time you are tempted by sin, remember the attacking dog. Remember, God hates sin with a fiery passion because he loves you even more passionately. Hold both truths at once, and use them to bring you closer to God.

Photo Courtesy: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/CasPhotography

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of CrosswalkHeadlines.

Kelly-Jayne McGlynn is a former editor at She sees the act of expression, whether through writing or art, as a way to co-create with God and experience him deeper. Check out her handmade earrings on Instagram and her website for more of her thoughts on connecting with God through creative endeavors.

Why Does God Hate Sin?