Proverbs jumped out at me today – mostly because I’m pretty sure that I do at least one thing that God hates.
There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Proverbs 6: 16-19 (NIV)
I’ve not shed innocent blood, devised wicked schemes, rushed into evil. And due less to morals than to a personality issue, I can’t lie.
I don’t deliberately stir up conflict in a community, although I may be guilty of stirring up folks against someone who’s hurt me by sharing my side of the story. So, a “maybe” there.
However, I’ve been told by my children and my husband that I have Haughty Eyes. Yes, I am guilty of the Look, the Look that says, “You are a detestable worm.” Now, most of the time when they accuse me of the Look, I am in fact processing the conflict between us in my mind and (in my opinion) they are imagining the Look. As far as I am concerned, I am deep in thought.
Nevertheless, the fact is, I have haughty thoughts, whether or not my eyes show it. And they know it. I have the Look in my heart.
One commentary points out that this list repeats the preceding description of the worthless man in Proverbs. Moreover, all six hated things lead to the seventh which is as detestable as the rest: stirring up conflict among brothers, in a community. So, I am guilty of the first and maybe the last (the ultimate?) … and they are all part of a unit of sins which put self above others at all costs.
Just as one who says raca is guilty of murder, so one with haughty eyes is probably guilty of all the other hated things. Snobbery is the seed of murder, lying, mayhem, and community breakdown.
Frankly, this feels rather academic to me right now. But I need to think and pray about it. God hates the Look (the one in my heart).
So, God, help me see the evil in my eye. Amen.
Readings: Exodus 17:1-18:27, Psalm 18:30-42, Proverbs 6:16-19, Matthew 22:1-22. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts.