Have you ever been awakened by God? One morning I was suddenly awakened by God, which was not normal. So, I did what I always do: I got a full glass of water, and then I did something different: I grabbed my paper Bible. Recently, I have been studying on my computer or my tablet. Still, the Lord prompted me to grab my paper Bible this Wednesday morning. I usually try to start each day by reading a Proverb. The Proverb was Proverbs 6. As I read Proverbs 6, verses, 16-19 jumped out at me. As I started to dig into this text, an article I had recently read came to my mind. The article was from the Harvard Business Review entitled “The Next Time You Want to Complain at Work, Do This Instead.” The article talked about why people complain about others and why complaining is a bad move.
The Lord took seemingly random ideas and formulated them into a devotion I want to share with you. I want to call this devotion…” A Lesson I Wished I Had Learned A Long Time Ago!”
As I look back on my life, I cannot help but think, what if I had learned certain things younger in life. Do you ever feel that way?
In this column, I want to talk to you about one thing that will fundamentally change your life as a Christ-follower and a person. What is that one thing? Look with me in Proverbs 6:16-19.
There are six things the Lord hates—
no, seven things he detests:
a lying tongue,
hands that kill the innocent,
a heart that plots evil,
feet that race to do wrong,
a false witness who pours out lies,
a person who sows discord in a family.
~New Living Translation
The writer in Proverbs 6:16-19 deploys what is known as a Numerical Saying. In numerical sayings, typically, the last line contains the most critical point. The final item on the list is the focus of God’s hatred.
Let’s walk through the text and discover the truth that I want to communicate to you.
Hate is such a strong word. The Hebrew word used here literally means “to dislike intensely.” Now there are some things we all hate, and those who love us know those things, and they try their best not to do them because they know how those things make us feel. Shouldn’t you and I, as Christ Followers, try our best to avoid, not to do the things that God hates?
Detests is another strong word. The Hebrew word here means “something that causes horror and disgust in others.”
The LORD hates the qualities displayed in Proverbs 6:16-19. Look at the list for yourself and ask yourself, is this trait present in my life?
1. Haughty eyes (Pride, the attitude that overvalues self and undervalues others)
2. A lying tongue (Fraud)
3. Hands that kill the innocent (Murderer a violent person)
4. A heart that plots evil (An evil Person is someone plotting someone else’s downfall.)
5. Feet that race to do wrong (A Follower of morally objectionable behavior)
6. A False witness (Liar)
7. A person who sows discord in a family (A Gossip, A Trouble Maker, A Pot Stirrer)
Why is #7 so bad?
That confused me until I looked at the phrase as it appears in the Bible.
“a person who sows” – Literally means to put into a particular state or cause to be in a specific condition.
“discord” – Literally means conflict, heated, often violent dissension. This Hebrew word is only used three times in the Old Testament (Proverbs 6:14, 19, 10:12)
Put all that together, and the seventh item on the list reads, “one who puts other people or situations in conflict (disagreement).”
Here is what makes the seventh thing so bad: it causes so much harm to yourself and others. It destroys friendships and community.
J. Vernon McGee said…
There are multitudes of folk sowing discord, and they are not all politically motivated. They are in your neighborhood, and chances are they are in your church. You may even have one in your home, and there is a possibility that…[they] even may be sitting where you sit. My friend, causing trouble between family members or brothers in Christ or fellow workers is something that God hates.
J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary: Poetry (Proverbs), electronic ed., vol. 20 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 69.
Here is what I have learned, it is easy to spot the things going wrong, but it is hard to spot the things going well. The enemy wants us to focus on the negative, but God calls his children to seek out the good.
So what now, what do you do now?
Pray for Matthew 5:9 to come alive in your life. “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” Become a peacemaker. The peacemaker described in Matthew 5:9 is a person who tries to bring about harmonious relations between opposing parties. There will always be things to complain about, but will you be defined as a complainer or a peacemaker?
When the temptation arises in you to sow discord among others, pray that Matthew 18:15 would come alive in your life.
“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.”
The Hebrew word “discord” is only used three times in the Old Testament (Proverbs 6:14, 19, 10:12). Proverbs 10:12 is the answer to the sowing discord. What is it? Proverbs 10:12 says, “Hatred stirs up quarrels,
but love makes up for all offenses..” LOVE…a strong positive emotion of regard and affection towards another person.
God put his love on the line not for you to continue to do the things you always did but for you to be more like him every day.