There are six things that the LORD hates, seven things detestable to him: snobbish eyes, a lying tongue, hands that spill innocent blood, a heart set on wicked plans, feet that run quickly to evil, a false witness who breathes lies, and one who causes conflict among relatives.
When I read this list, I immediately think “I don’t do any of these things!” and assume this list is for other people. Notice how the chapter begins, it says “my son,” so it is wisdom given in the context of relationship. I don’t know if you are like this, but if someone tells me something hard, challenging or even convicting but I know that they love me and want what is best for me, I can listen, hear and, maybe, even accept what they are saying (or at least on good day I hope). When God gave the Israelites the 10 Commandments, it was after he rescued them from the hands of Pharaoh, their evil oppressor. He rescued them to be in a relationship with him. He called them to be his people so that they might in turn bless the world. He didn’t tell them how to act, watch closely to see if they did it and then rescued them if they were good enough!
We too have been rescued, not from an evil oppressor per se, but from sin and evil, by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We are now his children, his representatives, in our relationships, our families, at Brown, in our classes, at work and we reflect him to those around us. And because I know that I have already been rescued, forgiven, loved I can look at my life and see if maybe I need to work on not causing conflict in my relationships, maybe I need to work on not gossiping, and instead of thinking I am pretty great, recognize and appreciate the talents and gifting of others.
Dear God, thank you that we are your children and that you love us. As we grow in our understanding of your love, help us to stand up for the lives of those who are most vulnerable in our world, help us to not gossip, to be humble and even encourage others to do well, and not to instigate conflict or drama in our friendships and families. By your Spirit, make us more like Jesus; we need your help! Amen.