There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, 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(1)
I came across this passage of Scripture as I read through the book of Proverbs as part of our church’s 31 Day Challenge ( – a life adventure based on the book of Proverbs.) As I read each of the things that God hates; I subconsciously started to think of those who had done one or the other of these things to myself or a family member. I was filled with a deep sense of pain as I relived the experiences and my heart made a silent request for a fitting and just punishment for those who had done evil against us. After all, I told myself, if someone is going to go cause pain, then they ought to suffer the consequences. What kind of God would allow someone to walk away free after causing grief to another…?
As I knelt there on the floor ready to ‘bring these people to his attention’, the Holy Spirit began to deal with me. He asked me, ever so gently, whether any of these could be named of me. If everyone who had ever been wronged were to seek restitution against the evildoers, would my name ever come up for discussion? That got my attention and the focus of my prayer immediately changed. It wasn’t long before I was seeking His forgiveness even as I released those who had hurt us. (It wasn’t easy at all. Even as I wrote this, the memories came flooding back… Even as I wrote this, I had to ask God to help me let go so He can do His work through this situation.)
Please don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that those who deliberately hurt others should run around free to hurt again, but the prayer example that Jesus prayed comes strongly to mind: the request that Our Father should forgive us our wrong doings as we forgive those who do wrong against us … It’s a general request for cleansing of ourselves and a general request for us to release those who have caused us grief. It’s general … which means it’s inclusive. We ought not to ask Him to forgive only some of our sins in pretty much the same way we can’t choose to forgive only some of the wrongs that have been done to us. It’s all or nothing and it flows both ways.
Perhaps your mind is somewhat troubled today. You may find yourself right now hating the very things God hates. You may feel the need to exact revenge but stone throwing is only reserved for “him who is without sin”. It gets mighty painful at times but we have to let it go and let Him handle it. If we can sort these things out on our own then we really don’t need Him. Letting go doesn’t make the evil acceptable but it will help us in the healing process. If these things hurt so much, we can only imagine why God hates them.
Is there something weighing heavily on your mind? Is there someone that has broken your spirit and you just find it so hard to let it go? Is there an opportunity for God to do a supernatural healing in your life? Could today be your day of new beginnings? May I encourage you to listen closely to His direction today? Forgiving those who have wronged us may not be easy but it is necessary.
Father, even though I don’t tell everyone everything about me, my life is an open book before You. You can see deep into my heart and You alone know why I smile and why I sing. Your Word says the mouth speaks from the abundance of the heart. Please sift through the layers of pain and hurt and guilt and anxiety and dismay and expose the reasons to smile. I have had days that have been just perfect and others that have been nothing but painful. Still, I know that You can turn every situation around to the glory of Your name.
Please search my heart as only You can. Please remove anything that dishonours You and help me to forgive those who have hurt me, even with a hurt so deep that the memory alone drives me to tears. On top of this, I am asking You to help me so that in the days ahead if I do recall the circumstances, help me to recall them with thanksgiving that You brought us through the dark times. I release whatever I have been holding onto whether or not I am aware that I have been holding on. I ask that Your perfect divine will be done and that Your name would be glorified.
The days ahead will only be harder if I don’t let You heal me. The pain I feel now may seem unbearable but this is nothing compared to endless joy of being with You for all eternity.
(1) Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
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