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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Seven things God has strong opinions about - Part IV

Here are six things God hates,
    and one more that he loathes with a passion:
      eyes that are arrogant,
      a tongue that lies,
      hands that murder the innocent,
      a heart that hatches evil plots,
      feet that race down a wicked track,
      a mouth that lies under oath,
      a troublemaker in the family.
(Proverbs 6:16-19)

We have examined the first three of these attributes / attitudes of heart that God absolutely despises.  This morning, we will examine the heart that hatches evil plots.  First of all, it is important to remember that scripture refers to the "heart" a lot.  We may not realize that this is really the seat of our emotions, the center of our personality and temperament.  When we approach this passage with that understanding, we can see that our writer is referring to that part of us that is driven or controlled by emotional response.

The heart that hatches evil plots - I daresay we have all had evil plots in mind at one time or another.  The thing God hates is the "hatching" of those plots - in other words, bring to fruition what has been preconceived in our minds.  These plots, as they are called, are really pretty well thought out plans devised with the intention of hurting or harming another.  Now, most of us would not cop a plea of "guilty" to this one.  In fact, we'd probably say that we don't really think this one deserves much attention from us.

Let's look again at this scripture passage.  God begins by reminding us that self-centered, prideful attitudes turn his stomach.  He wants us to learn to live without needing to be the center of attention in our own eyes and in the eyes of others.  There is danger in looking down our noses at others and God wants to keep us from that place of destructive judgmentalism.  Why?  Because he knows it can lead to a whole lot of other destructive behaviors, such as a lying tongue and smothering the character of another!  These seven things God is exposing to us in this passage build on the other.  If we begin to lay a foundation correctly, the building that occurs on that foundation is solid.  If the foundation is incorrectly structured, the building fails to meet the intended form.  So it is with our Christian character - start right, allowing God to work on our pride first, and we will begin to see our character take the form he desires.

When we are given to a prideful outlook on life, it is easy to "hatch evil plots" in our heart.  The judgmental attitude that comes when we have a problem with pride or arrogance is one that wants to look good at ANY expense, even if it means we use methods that are not quite so kosher.  Evil is really not understood well today.  In fact, when you look up the word "evil" you will find that the first definition if something that is morally wrong or bad.  God is reminding us that when our heart attitude is not aligned with him at the center, we make wrong choices and will lead to our destruction.  

As we begin today, let's ask God to reveal our heart intentions.  Are they bent on destructive behavior?  If so, then it is definitely an opportunity for God to begin to show us how we can build again the foundations that will give us a solid character foundation that leads to morally right choices.