During the ‘Quest for God’ we have established that God desires to have a growing relationship with every person, in fact John 15v12-16 clearly shows us God calls us friends if we follow Him.
To allow this relationship to grow its important to understand different aspects of relationship, we spoke recently about understanding ‘things God loves’ these are things we should do. The opposite of this would be to understand ‘what God hates’ and avoid these things.
To hear that God hates certain things sounds inconsistent when 1 John 4 tells us that ‘God is love’, love is a part of His character and personality.
As John McCarthur writes, “if you love someone, you hate whatever it is that would harm that person. If you're a parent, you hate anything that would harm your children. If you're married, you hate anything that would defile or injure your spouse. If you love good, then you hate evil. If you love God, you hate Satan. If you love unity, you hate discord”.
Let’s look at some things God hates found in Proverbs 6v16-19.
This passage can be looked at from differing perspectives, the aspect that caught my attention was when God uses words such as hate for the behaviours listed here, I suggest it’s because when these things are in our lives we are not living the abundant life that God intends for us (Jn 10v10).
As you read through this passage feel free to look at any or all of the points listed, one aspect may be more relevant to your group than others.
- Misuse of our Eyes: Haughty eyes
Dictionary tells us that ‘haughty’ means blatantly and disdainfully proud
Let’s not confuse ‘having pride in what you do or achieve, let’s be proud of what we achieve because God actually expects us to do the best we can when we represent Him, however He wants us to stay away from pride being an unhealthy force within our lives.
Pr 16v18 ‘Pride goes before destruction a haughty spirit before a fall’
Let’s look at Jesus response to pride, read and discuss Matt 23v11-12.
The antidote to Pride is to look at Jesus example.
- Misuse of our Tongues
James reminds us that the tongue is a small part of the body but has major influence – it’s like the rudder of a big ship, something small controls the direction of our lives.
When we misuse our speech we are not walking in faith (Heb 11v6). Gossip and murmuring kept the children of Israel in the wilderness and led to unbelief that kept them from the Promised Land.
Misuse of our tongue would include
- times when we embellish (and we know when those times are)
- gossip (children of Israel)
God says that we should actually love truth (Zech 8v19), rejoice in the truth (1 Cor 13v6), meditate on the truth (Phil 4v8) and that we should speak to each other on truth (Eph 4v25).
- Misuse of our Hands
Read Psalm 18v33-34
Our hands can be used to build up or tear down physically, the same applies spiritually, we can have a positive or negative impact on those around us by our actions.
Describe some ways you hands can have a positive impact on others, (this maybe a good opportunity to mention some ministries like CityLife Community Care who have projects like ‘makeovers’ that we can serve in.
- Misuse of our Hearts
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Pr. 4:23).
"I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their hearts of stone and give them tender hearts instead, so they will obey My laws and regulations. Then they will truly be My people, and I will be their God." (Ez. 11:19-20 NLT)
Our heart is the control room for our lives and God wants to dwell within us, for our friendship with God to grow we must continually surrender our heart to God and His purposes.
- Misuse of our Feet
Read 1 Cor 6v18 ‘flee from evil’ and Psalm 1v1-2.
I like the story of Eric Little from the movie Chariots of Fire, he says ‘when I run I feel it gives God pleasure’. Here Little understands that his feet are being used for God’s purposes.
The reason God hates it when we ‘misuse’ any aspect of our lives is that we live below His intention for our lives. Every aspect of our lives have been redeemed and therefore should be available for His glory.Sample Discussion Questions
- How can we avoid ‘misusing’ areas of our lives?
- What practical steps can you take to use your life more effectively?
- What else do you think God hates? How should we respond to these things?