Six Things

Today's devotion from Proverbs 6.

Read through this chapter, and you will find a listing of things God hates. Before we get to these iconic words themselves, we see the warning to avoid becoming entangled in bad financial dealings, laziness, and dishonesty. After the list of six things, no seven, we find a word of caution regarding adultery. Not only is adultery wrong, but the author instructs his audience to consider each of those affected, including the other's spouse.

As you read through this chapter, it would be easy to see these issues and topics that are addressed and simply dismiss them. They are really very obvious to most people. However, I would challenge you to look at them with fresh eyes. What you will see is a truth that we know, but often gloss over. There is wisdom that is so obvious that it is uncommon. There is instruction where none should be required, yet in the living the need for the author's words is vindicated time and again.

We could get into deep theological conversations about usury, personal responsibility in provision, and the fine line between manipulation and consideration. However, to do so would rob us of the simple beauty of this chapter. Upon what, then, would I have you focus your attention today? The answer is in the heart of each of these detestable actions, especially the seven listed in verses 16-19. Each of them involve our relationship with others.

If you will look at these seven items listed, you will notice that they are built on our perception of and interactions with others. Can I be arrogant without comparing myself to the value of others? Can I lie without trying to mislead? Innocent blood shed by my hand obviously belongs to another. The wicked scheme of my heart is to use others for my personal gain. Feet running to evil are trampling over others. A false testimony wounds another, and the trouble stirred among brothers affects entire families.

We often forget that many of our sins are doubly harmful because they touch more lives than our own. If you boil these issues down, what God truly hates is the self-centered heart and motivation that is rampant in our culture. Don't fall in that trap today. Choose to serve others. Live to honor God in your every interaction today.