Proverbs 6:16-19 ~
“These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.”
When we think about things the Lord hates, do we picture ourselves? Most often not. We picture the faces of others. Yet, so often this will be the very thing that will lead us away from a true relationship with God. It is our inward thinking, while meditating on God’s character, which truly teaches us who we are in the Lord, why we need Christ and subsequently how to have a heart for service.
If we look at Proverbs 6 above and notice the “hateful seven”, as I like to call them, we, once again, think of others. But, let’s be honest, if we look inward we will see we have committed most of these. In fact, every person has, most likely, committed all of them but one: hands that shed innocent blood. Yet, how often do we forget this?
Somehow, while accepting the forgiveness and love of Christ, we become hardened even more to our sin. Instead of being guilt-filled, on-our-knees believers ~ we become elitist, prideful and judgmental Pharisees.
So how do we contradict this? How do we make this right? How do we become the children that God so desires? It’s easy ~ we recognize daily our sinful selves and the need for a loving savior.
So often I see hands raised praising the Lord. There is nothing wrong with this, but I would like to see more people bowed down instead of held high. We have lost our reverence for the Lord in our attempt to find ourselves worthy of God’s love. We accept that we are adopted children and heirs with Christ and with this I have seen an adoption towards pride. We can take the example of our beloved apostles. In Mark 10:40, while James and John have been with Christ for some time and privy to the glory of the Lord and have felt the lowliness of their souls, they ask Christ if they can sit side by side with him. Let the pride begin ~ so Christ replies in verses 42 and following:
“…You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Christ’s life was marked by service and love to everyone. His reputation among the “elite” was one of a ragged, lowly man who walked with the unwanted.
Another example of this from our beloved apostles is found in Mark 9. The apostles are upset because, in their pride, they became frustrated with someone who was not “following” them (someone not officially allied with Jesus and the apostles) was casting out demons in Jesus’s name. They didn’t like this… this was their gift to do. Their position to have. Yet someone else who, they felt, less worthy was performing the things that only they supposed were capable to perform. This coming after all the arguing on the road about who would be first and who would be last.
Do you see the pattern here? When our scales are first removed from our eyes to our sin and to the greatness of God, we are (or should be) on our knees in shame at the cross. Immediately after that, our love and thankfulness for God and Christ’s sacrifice should be the things that carry us through our day. Yet, as time goes by and we “get used” to our salvation we become lukewarm in our reverence to the One who gave us everything and we point our eyes to others instead of ourselves. We begin to become Pharisaical know-it-alls who view themselves as equals with Christ instead of worshipers who owe Him everything.
Mark 9:50 says, “Salt is good, but if the salt loses it flavor how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves and peace with another.”
Are we salt? Or have we lost our flavor? Or, even worse, have we become more like cayenne ~ too spicy for anyone to take or be around.
We should be leaving people with a Christ like love and joy ~ not a bitter taste of judgment and rejection. We need to daily recognize our sinfulness ~ this will lead us to an on-our-knees love and worship of our Lord and His sacrifice. It will lead us to a worshipful mind of God that will carry out onto others. We need to be so busy picking the log out of our own eyes, worshiping our Lord and loving each other that we have no time to commit the hateful seven.
Now loving one another comes with confrontation, but there is a stark contrast between loving someone enough to want to help them get rid of their sin and being prideful enough that you just judge everyone in their sin.
John 15:12, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
So start each day saying Romans 7:24, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of death? I thank God ~ through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Put yourself in the place of the sinner and everyone else on the pedestal. How can we serve one another today as Christ serves me every second? How can we uplift one another? How can we be the salt in a world filled with bitterness and tastelessness? Regain the reverence God so deserves and put our Lord on High and yourself down low. Only then will the true repentant heart gain control of who you are and the actions that you do. Only then can we truly achieve the peace of God, the faith we need, the wisdom we seek and life we long to live.
Article Photo: Alais Wagner
About the author:
Kristen Wells has a bachelors of science degree in biblical counseling and is the author of The Warring Soul. She resides in California with her wonderful husband, Greg, her son, Justin, and her daughter, Katie.
Besides writing, Kristen enjoys reading, knitting, playing board games, substitute teaching at her kid’s school, teaching bible at Santa Clarita Christian School, and mentoring youth. When she is not attending to the needs of her family, you can find Kristen curled up with a good book and a cup of coffee or fellowshiping with friends. Above all, she lives to exemplify Christ in her everyday life and help others to find their way out of darkness.