Saturday, March 10, 2012

Seeds we sow

Did you know that God hates? 

Yeah, sounds weird doesn't it?  But Proverbs gives us a list of six things that God hates - no, as a matter of fact there are seven that are an abomination to Him (abomination is like really intense hatred).  

Let me give you the list and the reference - because something jumped out at me about it some time ago as I looked at it.  

"There are six things which the LORD hates,
Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him.
Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, 
And hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans, 
Feet that run rapidly to evil, 
A false witness who utters lies, 
And one who spreads strife among brothers."
 - - (Proverbs 6: 16-19)

Did you notice it?  There are two things that jump out at me.  One is that lying is mentioned TWICE - once as just the tongue (body part) which lies, and the other as the PERSON who lies.  And the other thing is that for the most part, these are just actions that God hates (represented by body parts) - whereas the last two - (which talk about lying and about spreading discord between brothers) actually talk about the person.  So much for hate the sin, love the sinner!!

Source (via Google Images):
That should be a clue as to how desperately wrong it is to lie to people and to tear down person A to person B so as to make person B mistrust or judge person A.  I've seen this happen over and over again, and every time it is extremely upsetting.  Talebearers, the Bible calls them. People who betray confidences to make themselves look like the good guy ... while the other poor slob comes off smelling like a skunk.  I'd even go as far as to say that this kind of behavior can be seen as bullying.  And I have less and less tolerance for that kind of thing, whether in a family, a church, or a workplace.  Those words of discord are seeds that spring up in not only the life of the person being disrespected, but also in the life of the person tearing him or her down.  The seeds of discord yield a harvest of shame - whether now or later.  

That's the thing about seeds.  They reproduce and multiply - IN KIND.  You can't get an orange tree out of an apple seed.  The kind of seed we sow is the kind of fruit we'll get, and we'll always get more than we give, for good or for evil.  And when I hear someone talking to me about this one or that one - revealing secrets or expressing opinions on what he or she has done or said, I now find myself wondering what that person tells others about me. 

That's a sobering thought.  

I need to pay attention to make sure that I not only don't spread discord, but also that I don't allow others to do it as well - that I pray for and appropriate the courage to confront and expose it ... in a kind and gentle way, knowing that it could just as easily be me holding the seed bag.

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