There are six things the Lord hatesâ€”no, seven things he detests:
a lying tongue,
hands that kill the innocent,
a heart that plots evil,
feet that race to do wrong,
a false witness who pours out lies,
a person who sows discord in a family. Â Â Â Â Â Proverbs 6:16-19 (NLT)
WARNING: Toes may be stepped on during this devotion.
I have shared in this devotion several times the study tool of reading a Proverb every day since there are 31 Proverbs and that makes it easy to read the Proverb that corresponds with the number of the day of the month. Every time I have done it I have wished I could miss Day 6. There isn’t much that can be said to avoid this list of things that God HATES and DETESTS. That is strong language!
Haughty eyes. Pride. P-R-I-D-E. Got any? Whenever I put my way in front of God’s way, that is haughty and arrogant. Any time I look down my nose at another one of God’s children, considering myself as â€œbetterâ€ in some way, any way, that is pride. God says, â€œCome spend time with Meâ€ and I say, â€œI want to watch TVâ€, that’s doing things my way instead of His way. It is one of the ways of telling God that I know best about my time, my talents, my life.
Lying tongue. â€œlittle white lieâ€. â€œI just didn’t offer the information.â€ If I feel uncomfortable saying or not saying because I know it isn’t really the truth, it’s a lie. And you know where the hardest place for me to be truthful has been? In the workplace. I’m not talking about falsifying documents or even doing something that the world would consider illegal. I am talking about those â€œdumbâ€ rules that offices and workplaces have about taking personal phone calls or carrying your cell phone during work hours. The rules that are almost seen as an accepted game to get around the boss’ rigid way of doing things. It’s still lying, isn’t it?!
Hands that kill the innocent. Most of us may think we will never be faced with killing someone. I have spoke to military personnel and police officers and they tell me it is an experience that you never forget. No matter the circumstances, you carry that burden with you for the rest of your life. But most of us will be faced with the opportunity to â€œkillâ€ someone with our words. That was a characteristic of who I was before Jesus came into my life. I could cut someone down to mouse-size with my words. I had a wicked tongue! The tongue is a deadly weapon that can destroy a person’s spirit. As a parent, using words that humiliate a child (like stupid, dumb, ignorant, fat, ugly) leave scars that forever change a child.
A heart that plots evil. It may be easy to blame evil on satan but too often it is our own flesh that desires to â€œget evenâ€. Jesus taught us as He laid on the cross with nails drilling through His body to always give forgiveness and love. Anger and bitterness that is allowed to fester and multiply in my heart will taint my entire life as I â€œdreamâ€ about how someone who has wronged me will be repaid. Jesus shows me how to keep my heart clean.
Feet that race to do wrong. The time in my life when I seem to gravitate toward choices that were not pleasing to God was when I spent time among the pleasures of this world. I was drinking and watching disgusting movies and TV shows. I was friends with people who brought cussing to an art form. I chose to live in this atmosphere and it wasn’t easy to change directions. I had to chose to make different friends. I had to chose to not watch things that were a temptation to me. And I stopped drinking altogether. Now I am not opposed to drinking wine at dinner or a beer with your pizza â€“ but for me â€“ I can’t do that because I won’t stop with just one beer.
A false witness that pours out lies. What is the difference between this and a lying tongue? To me it has to do specifically with giving false information about what God has done in my life. It is mis-representing God. He doesn’t need any embellishment. God is great enough just the way He is. If my life with Jesus has been blessed without addictions or a life of crime, characterized as a steady walk â€“ then that is the story I need to share, no more or less.
A person who sows discord in a family. This â€œdiscordâ€ could be found in a family, a church, or any group. The source of the discord needs to be identified and lovingly â€“ shown the door until they can make the commitment to cease and desist. I know of two churches and countless families who have been destroyed because of one person or a handful of people do not know how to live without speaking and working strife into everyone they are around. It is not easy but Jesus warned how the â€œyeast of the Phariseesâ€ would destroy (Matthew 6:5-12). Paul, too, spoke about the yeast and the destruction of the immoral person in a fellowship of Believers (1 Corinthians 5). I find it troubling to â€œexpelâ€ someone from a fellowship or family but it is more troubling to allow an entire family or fellowship to be destroyed by a â€œseed of discordâ€.
I don’t have a song to end with today. I have only a desire to bend my knees and bow my head as I seek the LORD’S wisdom in all of these areas. It is a passage that I will take with me as I continue to spend time in Jesus’ classroom.