January 6

These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:16-19).

Our world loves to tell us that we should never hate.  This list is worthy of our attention.  When I was playing sports, I always tried to find the things that my coach loved, but also the things he hated.  I tried to please him, so I would always try to stay away from the things he hated.  I remember one particular coach who placed a huge emphasis on conditioning.  I have always hated to run long distances (to me a quarter mile was a long distance … HA).  We started soccer camp on Monday running one mile before breakfast, and ended Friday morning running five miles before breakfast (each day adding one mile).  My goal was to finish toward the middle of the pack so he wouldn’t notice me.

I wanted to do things that pleased my coach, because I wanted playing time.  In much the same way, I want to please my Heavenly Father because I want His blessing on my life, our family, and our ministry.  God does not make us guess about the things that He hates.  One commentator I read said that God lists things from all parts of our make-up.  God listed things about our eyes (a proud look); our tongues (lying); our hands (that shed innocent blood); our minds (evil imaginations); our heart (mischief); our character (false witness); and our relationships (sowing discord among brethren).

I believe if I am honest with myself, and you are honest with yourselves, we must all admit that these are areas that we struggle with at times in our lives.  God gave this list of things to help us to govern our behavior for our own good, and for the good of His work reaching the world for Christ.  I find myself sometimes handling these things like I did the distance running in college.  I try to stay somewhere in the middle so as not to be notice by God.  That is not the plan God has for me.

I want to give all I have to God today.  I don’t just want to “make the team,” I want to do all that I can to avoid this list of things my Heavenly Father hates.  I want to guard my eyes; my tongue; my hands; my mind; my heart; my character; and my relationships.  I want to give God my best, and do the opposite of these things He hates in my life today.  I may have failed in the past, but today is a new day to do the things that He loves!

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