Growing up, I remember we knew we were not to hate someone, so we would say something to the effect of: “I really, really, really don’t like you.” Never mind Jesus’ teaching on the heart of the matter (We probably just conveniently chose to ignore that), but the point was that hate was not something to be trifled with.
So imagine our reaction when we get to Proverbs 6.16 and read there are six things that the Lord hates…and if that was not enough, seven things that he detests.
A lying tongue
Hands that shed innocent blood
A heart the devises wicked schemes
Feet that are quick to rush into evil
A false witness who puts out lies
A person who stirs up conflict in the community (Proverbs 6.17-19, NIV)
So are you surprised by this list? I mean, if the Lord is going to go on record about those things he hates, an emotion that for most of us in contrary to his nature and what we would expect him to say, we probably ought to pay close attention to those things.
What stands out to me in this list is the number of things that concern our relationship with others around us. By my count, it is seven-for-seven. How we treat other people matters a great deal to God. Please do not fool yourself into thinking that following God is simply about your relationship with him. It is also about how you treat others. And God really, really, really doesn’t like it when you treat them poorly.