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Sins God Hates

by Mark Nickles  
10/12/2012 / Christian Living


It should come as no surprise that God hates sin. It is disgusting and abhorrent to him. Not people, but sin. Two obvious reasons for this disposition spring right from scripture: 1) God is holy, and 2) He hates what is harmful to us.

It is instructive to study Proverbs 6:16-19, which references specific sins which are "detestable to him".

"Haughty eyes" Indicated here is an attitude which says, "I'm better than that person/those people." Of course, this mindset can be found in individuals, groups, or even whole communities. Living in small towns, rural areas or large cities, we are all aware of this, and have seen this attitude expressed often and in many different ways.

"A lying tongue" This one is straightforward. God hates lies. Big lies, little white lies, lies told for personal reasons, selfish reasons, political reasons, or just to tell a new story. God can't stand intentional twisting of the truth.

"Hands that shed innocent blood" This one is also right to the point: the Lord hates the abuse of the innocent. Besides the obvious scenarios we could imagine, this would cover acts of violence born of racism, domestic violence, bullying, drunken brawling, acts of anger/passion, the list could go on. Any time innocent blood is shed, God looks upon it with disdain.

"A heart that devises wicked schemes" - This appears to be a specific reference to a sin against another; a plot of revenge, or in some other way, devising a plan against someone. A well-known thought which would define the concept would be, "How can I get even?" "How can I make him look foolish?" "How can I make her look untrustworthy?" "How can I downgrade that person, that I may look better?" For the Christian, who has been instructed to "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," (Matthew 5:44), the thought pattern of getting even is out of place, and antithetical to the Christ-like nature we are supposed to display. The more planning, plotting and organizing there is to a sinful act, the greater an abomination it is to God. This is serious stuff.

"Feet that are quick to rush into evil" - This is another kind of premeditated sin. Added to it is a sense of anxiousness, greediness, excitement, elation, to get it done. When a person surrenders themselves to an act or behavior that they know is wrong, even anticipating it with glee, they are involved in sin that is detestable to God.

"A false witness who pours out lies" You don't have to live very long to be witness to someone who eagerly supports gossip, rumor and lies in order to damage someone else's reputation. It happens everywhere, with no exception. For the Christian, especially, it is a sad, shameful activity that damages their witness, hurts others, and offends our heavenly father. God's people would be wise to avoid such behavior.

"A man who stirs up dissension among brothers" - The Bible speaks of God's desire for the Body of Christ to be in accordance and unity with one another. This specific sin is the planting of summations, assumptions, lies, slander, gossip, and the like, among the people of God. The person who does so is "the stick that stirs the pot". How sad to have occasion to find such activity in the house of God.

Some may read this article and ask, "Doesn't God hate ALL sin?" The answer is a resounding "Yes". The reason this passage seems to speak of specific sins God hates is because he is a relational being. Our relationship to him, and to each other, has always been of paramount importance. The Ten Commandments bear this out, as they all have to do with relationships. Likewise, in Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus indicated that the entire system of laws throughout God's word hinged on two commandments: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind", and "Love your neighbor as yourself." Therefore, the sins we willfully commit which damage our relationships to others are heart-breaking for our Lord.

To the Christian I would say this: YOU are one of the called out ones, instructed to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love others as yourself. If you are truly doing those two things, the above sins will be far from your mind and heart.

To pastors I say this: When you see these sinful activities demonstrated among God's people, call them accountable. Despite what they may say, it DOES concern you, and it IS your business. As under-shepherd to Jesus, and overseer of a body of believers, your responsibilities include exemplifying the fruits of the Spirit, instructing others on living such a life, and correcting those who publicly drag the name of Christ through the mud with such behavior.

When God's people seek to honor him by avoiding ongoing, habitual sin, he blesses us and lifts us up. When we engage in behavior we know is wrong, we sink into the muck and mire we were rescued from in the first place. Will you be a blessing, and enjoy good things from your LORD, or will you be like the dog who returns to his vomit? (Prov. 26:11)

Mark Nickles is a husband, father of three, and a pastor in Northeastern Oklahoma. Copyright, Mark A. Nickles.

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