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.
(Proverbs 6:16-19, NKJV)
As I sat in midweek Bible study, our pastor made the point that we must “love what God loves and hate what God hates.” Proverbs 8:13 confirms this. “The fear [respect, reverence] of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate” (NKJV). If we truly revere the Lord, we will hate evil. It’s that simple.
The Proverbs 6 passage leaves no doubt about God’s opinion of seven distinct things. He hates them. But it goes deeper than that. The Bible calls these things an abomination to Him. He finds them detestable; they are offensive to His character.
You may think, “I do hate evil, pride, and arrogance. I do love what He loves.” Hopefully that’s true, including that seventh item on the list: sowing discord among the brethren.
Discord, or strife, brings friction and disharmony into the church. I’ve seen it happen and you may have also. Anything that destroys unity among believers is a serious matter. Paul found it necessary to admonish two women in the church at Philippi to settle their differences before it caused greater conflict.
“Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement” (Philippians 4:2, NLT).
Paul dealt with another situation in his letter to the church at Rome. This problem was more than just two women with differing opinions. The Roman troublemakers were intentional in stirring up conflict, using “smooth words and flattering speech” to deceive others.
“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Romans 16:17-18, NKJV)
Paul was very straightforward. Avoid such people. The same advice holds true today. If someone is argumentative, critical, and deliberately stirring up trouble, don’t even listen. And certainly, don’t rehash it at home or with your best friend. Pray about it but don’t add fuel to the fire by talking about it.
“Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; and where there is no talebearer, strife ceases.” (Proverbs 26:20, NKJV)
God has called us to be peacemakers, not troublemakers. Let’s all work together in harmony so that God’s work will not be hindered.
- “So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” (Romans 14:19, ESV)
- “Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” (Philippians 2:2, NKJV)
Lord, help me to always seek unity and peace with my brothers and sisters in the Lord. Remind me to guard my words so that I do not add to a difficult situation or fan the flames of strife. I want to always love what You love and hate what You hate.
Additional scriptures to study: Proverbs 13:10, Proverbs 16:28, Proverbs 20:3 Matthew 5:9, Romans 12:18, Titus 3:2, James 3:17.