My life’s message is God’s love. His pure, powerful, perfect love. His love that is so deep and wide that it has the ability to completely overwhelm, envelope, inundate, and saturate us transforming us into resemblance of Christ. I have found that the message of the love of Christ is one that really gets under some people’s skin. Usually, through no fault of their own, it’s because of a lack of understanding of what God’s love really looks like. Many times we equate God’s love to the “human” love we have experienced on this Earth, which may be filled with pain, deception, lies, manipulation, etc. We must never allow ourselves to equate God’s love to that kind of love because His love is perfect.
Another misconception is that if we say God is love and teach on God’s love that we are saying that God is incapable of emotions that we associate with negative feelings, like sadness or anger. It is possible to feed sadness and anger within the context of love. Love does not negate emotions. Love is really a motive of the heart. It’s a driving force. To fully understand what God’s love looks like, we can refer to 1 Corinthians 13. I’ll include it here for easy reference, but I’d encourage you to read the entire chapter.
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 [b]bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of [c]prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9
An emotion that God also has is hate. There are certain things He hates, but know that it is not people. It is never people. God cannot and will not ever hate a human being. He cannot. It goes against His nature. He may hate what you do or say, but He can never hate YOU. It’s impossible because He is love. The things that He hates is a direct result of the love that He has for us ALL.
There are six evils God truly hates and a seventh that is an abomination to him:
- Putting others down while considering yourself superior
- spreading lies and rumors
- spilling the blood of the innocent
- plotting evil in your heart toward another
- gloating over doing what’s plainly wrong
- spouting lies in false testimony
- stirring up strife
These things are entirely despicable to God.
Proverbs 6:16-19 (TPT)
O – Observation
First, I’d say that I love God too much to even want to do any of these things that He hates because I know that if I do any of them, it will bring sadness to Him. That’s the last thing I want to do, actually, it’s not the last thing, I don’t want to do it at all.
To say that I’ve never done any of these in my life would be a lie. I can say, however, that over the last 3.5 years, I’ve done a good job at not having my name next to any of those actions. Actually, I have a situation that comes to mind that happened a while ago. There was a situation where I did confide in a friend about something and what I shared in confidence to a friend was shared with a broader audience. The perception was horrible, as was the betrayal of someone I trusted. However, standing on the truth is what allowed me to forgive and move on. Grace empowers me to see things how others see and I can understand why the person reacted the way they did. What I could have used was more wisdom in that situation. I do not know what was said, what was shared, or what words were used, but I do know that the perception was that I was spreading lies and rumors. Two things I know for sure, and I say this with an open heart towards Jesus, I did not lie and I did not spread rumors. I simply shared a truth that I know to someone that I trusted prematurely. The error was mine. The rumorville began as soon as the trusted friend shared with others what was said in confidence. This was not something I was sharing with an open audience. I do not share much with people because I am aware that trust cannot be given loosely. Not everyone can handle certain things. This error, however, was not in the person I confided in. I take complete ownership in my lack of wisdom in that situation. I should have never shared what I did with the person – for reasons I will not share here. In Proverbs, we learn multiple times how there is wisdom in discretion. I clearly did not use discretion in this situation. That’s where I messed up. That’s where my error was. I wound up losing 2 friends over my lack of wisdom. I’ve chosen to let those lies and rumors sit because I firmly believe in truth; that truth prevails and brings freedom. The truth will always be revealed. In this case, defending myself or fighting to expose the truth would have hurt too many people and would have caused me to break confidence of quite a few people, so I allowed myself to take the sword…it was my own doing anyway. My lack of wisdom in not having discretion caused this.
I say all this because the 7th thing that God hates, and not only hates but considers an abomination is “stirring up strife.”
Strife means lack of agreement or harmony, bitter conflict; an act of contention exertion or contention for superiority.
Therefore, stirring up strife means to cause a bitter conflict – to cause contention for superiority – to cause a lack of agreement or harmony.
I have witnessed people stir up strife between people and then step away. It appears that they were not involved at all. They “play” the victim or peacemaker, but in reality, they created the entire situation to feel superior or, in laymen terms, to appear innocent and be able to come in and save the day. Often times the one who stirred up the strife continues to have relationships with all involved, but the other parties remain in conflict while the instigator appears to be a bystander of an unfortunate situation – “a friend stuck in the middle.” This is what God hates. Creating/stirring up strife is not in God’s heart. God’s heart longs for reconciliation, not for battle.
My personal opinion on why God hates stirring up strife is because it creates unforgiveness, bitterness, division, and dissension which leads to sickness. Sickness in the soul, spirit, mind, and body. Yes. Bitterness and unforgiveness cause physical reactions that bring about sickness. It’s such a serious matter and I believe that’s why God hates it so much – at times the act may be small but it’s what the act creates and results in. It’s so far from the heart of God and it leads people into death. God gave us Jesus so that we could be reconciled and have life, so when something brings death, God is not pleased.
A – Application
My heart desires to be far from those things which God hates. I do not ever want to make Him sad or have Him hate what I do. I live my life to please Jesus and if I do any of those things, I’m obviously not doing a good job of learning from Jesus…and I’m not living in wisdom. Also, I can’t help what others perceive, but I should exercise wisdom and discretion to minimize misperceptions, especially to those action that God hates. I don’t ever want to be associated with any of those 7 things…and not only because God hates them, but because I love God and people. I want to honor God. I want to please God. I don’t ever want to hurt people or cause them pain, especially not ones that will bring about death to their lives (emotionally, mentally, physically, or spiritually).
Therefore, I need to be intentional about this. I need to always check the motives of my heart. Not out of a place of legalism, but one out of the passionate love I have for Jesus and my desire to please Him because I love Him. I have failed at this at times, but I will become better. I want to represent God’s perfect love. Man, this is serious. I cannot allow even perceptions to taint the ministry of the love of God through my life.
I will be examining my heart and praying for revelation and wisdom so that I can ensure that none of these 7 things are a part of my life in any way.
Father, I repent. I repent for the times I did not minister your love perfectly. I repent for my lack of wisdom in handling situations that led to people being hurt or offended. My heart aches for those that I have hurt and those who were hurt by extension. In Proverbs 6:23 we learn that truth is a bright beam of light shining in ever area of our life, instructing and correcting us to discover the ways to godly living. I pray that you may shine truth into my heart. As truth is revealed into my heart may every lie die. I declare that the truth remove anything in my heart that may bring about death in any way. I was to be a minister of your love and of your life. I also pray that truth shine a light into every heart that I may have ever hurt so that life may penetrate into every area where a lie may have been deposited.
Holy Spirit, continue to guide and teach me. Continue to prompt me when discretion is needed. Lead me as I walk down the path of life. Correct me when I’m headed the wrong way or facing the wrong direction. Continue to guide me as to who I should be walking as I travel down the path you have me on. I will continue to look to you and lean on your for wisdom. I desire to live a life full of love that casts out fear, peace that surpasses understanding, unspeakable joy, and abundance – I can’t achieve that without You. I set my mind on Christ. I turn my heart towards Christ. I rest in the fact that I am in Christ and He is in me. Who I am is a reflection of what I do. You are my everything and I desire to please you in all that I do, but most importantly in all that I am so that my actions just flow your love, goodness and life.