16 There are six things that the LORD hates,
seven that are an abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
19 a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.
What God hates, so should we; and yet, we may be more tolerant than we suppose. Because we value people who agree with us on issues – be they theological, political, or socially; because we are loyal to our fraternity or denomination or family, we will tolerate and excuse in them what we denounce in others. We will chuckle at misleading comments of those on “our side” and pounce on the same types of comments on the other side. We admire the haughty eyes on our side as representing jealousy for truth, while we condemn the arrogance on the other side. We excuse sowing discord by those on our side by claiming the other side cannot handle truth; yet we are quick to expose the slander on the other side.
These seven wicked traits are an abomination to God regardless of who exhibits them, although it is likely he despises them more when found in someone who claims to represent him. Jesus’ harshest words were reserved for the men who claimed closest allegiance to God. Note further that these traits are found together. That is why they are a single abomination. Whoever is guilty of one of these traits will be guilty of all the others.
Note more deeply that all of these traits can be found in every one of us. We have all lied; we have all looked down on someone else. We may not have literally shed blood, but we have harmed others emotionally; we have all desired some kind of harm to come. We have all said something, done something that caused discord. Do not fool yourself as the Pharisee who could not think of anything to confess before God. Because you are human, even though you are redeemed by the blood of Christ, your heart is far from being fully sanctified. Do not excuse what God so easily sees. Go each day to the mercy throne to find the forgiveness that is in Christ and to receive the daily grace needed to grow in sanctification. Give thanks to God that, though your heart expresses too often what is an abomination, he sees you clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
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