Skip to main content

What makes you so important?

Ever consider what God hates? We know what he loves - us! Yet, do we fully know what he hates -  declares to be vile, unacceptable, and with the potential to harm. God "HATES" these things - he doesn't just have a little displeasure with them. I have always tried to teach my kids that the word "hate" really should not be in our vocabulary, and especially not in our behavior or attitudes toward others. So, why is it that God's attitude toward certain things is one of hatred? It is isn't that God hates the one who acts in certain ways (exhibits these 'bad' behaviors), but rather, he hates the behavior - because it does not reflect him to a lost and hurting world and they drive wedges between relationships of all types. These behaviors are contrary to the actions of heart that reflect a spiritual renewal and cleansing. They also stem from a heart that has not truly made God the center of their focus.

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)

God hates the first six identified behaviors and loathes the last. I always thought there was not too much difference between hating something and truly loathing it. Yet, there must be some subtle differences if both words are used to describe how God feels about these behaviors. Hate carries the idea of detesting something - being so intense in your dislike that you are actually hostile toward it. Loathe carries the idea of feeling disgust with a particular behavior - it just absolutely turns the stomach. Some pretty strong words, huh? And they are associated with our heavenly father's reaction to OUR sin! We cannot lose sight of the fact that there are behaviors identified as what he hates or loathes, not PEOPLE. Behaviors are outlined as objects of his intense dislike and disgust - because behaviors stem from the heart - in these cases, a heart untouched by his grace. You may have heard the saying, "God loves the sinner, but he hates the sin" - this is the idea behind this passage. He cannot condone sinful behavior because it is contrary to his character - who he is as a person (a holy God). He can accept the person and still not condone the behavior - he does this through the blood sacrifice of his Son - seeing us through that shed blood.

In fact, when God looks at our sinful state, he sees us through the eyes of forgiveness. Forgiveness that was purchased by the cross. If that is the case, why does God focus us on these seven characteristics of behavior as "not pleasing" to him? Well, look closely at what has been outlined within this passage. Pride, a lack of truth, harm of another, evil intents - all are suggestive that "self" is the focus, not God. These behaviors interfere with others seeing Christ in us - they interfere with his grace being evident. Therefore, they need to be forsaken. Eyes that are arrogant - an arrogant person is quite assuming in their behavior, aren't they? There is an air of superiority that emanates from them. The arrogant focus on their "rights" - ignoring the "needs" of those around them. God detests this kind of behavior because it is a "put off" to those who would want to draw near to us. People are not drawn to one who is always putting on "airs". In fact, they are often repelled by this attitude of superiority - maybe because they find themselves judged in the eyes of the one who exhibits this behavior tendency!

God wants his kids to be approachable - he wants our hearts and our attitudes to reflect that we are simply redeemed sinners. There is nothing superior in our "make up" that brings us into the place of salvation - ALL of us are sinners, ALL of us have fallen short of his glory, ALL of us stand in need of a Savior. The fact that we have welcomed Jesus into our heart should not "elevate" us to a place of self importance, but should stand as a constant reminder that except for his grace in operation within our lives we'd still be miserable sinners - repulsive to God and others. Maybe today we begin by asking God to point out any tendency we may have to look at others through eyes that are tinted with any type of arrogance. If he exposes any of these tendencies to us, we simply ask him to begin to change that attitude. We may be very surprised how a simple change in our perspective of "self" importance affects how we see others around us! Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce