Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Week #11 Proverbs 10:18 "When I Don't Love So Much"

"He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool."

As I shared last week, I have a "system" for choosing the scripture of the week: a website that chooses a verse for you. I choose their Sunday verse and try to blog about it on the following Saturday. Here it is Tuesday, and I am a few days late (missed blogging last Saturday).

But, nevertheless, I have pondered this particular scripture verse, and do have a couple thoughts on it.

This is one of those admonishment verses that makes me uncomfortable. I suppose that is the point, from the perspective of the writer, and of God. Correction often makes us uncomfortable. It does that to me.

Hatred and slander are not happy topics. I don't like to think about or talk about such things. They make me feel "bad' or unworthy. But, at the risk of spreading poor doctrine or bad advice, here is what struck me about this proverb.

It really doesn't say NOT to hate anything or anyone. Technically, it warns us against hiding our hate and lying about it. It conjures up the picture of the person who appears calm, but suddenly shouts: "I'm not angry!"

And for the record, this does NOT endorse the campaign that waves horrible signs that state God hates gays.

There will be certain things, and sometimes even a few people, that make hatred rise up in us (such as toward those nasty sign-wavers). These things will happen, whether it is right or wrong. The LORD knows that. But He warns us not to try to fool others or ourselves by pretending the hate isn't there. Because if we truly hate something, it will come out in other ways. We can't help that.

For instance, our rose-colored hatred can come out as slander, even though we think we're appearing neutral or "loving." I've been guilty of that. Maybe you have, too. I know for certain that the gay-bashing sign wavers are guilty of this.

I can't say that your hatred is bad, or that your hatred is justified. That is for the LORD to decide. But I believe this verse is telling us to be honest about what we think and feel when we speak to God. Love, hate, or anything else is nothing new to Him. He's heard it all, and will not turn us out or stop loving us because we might hate something or someone. But, only He can make us more loving.

On that website full of daily bible verses, there is also a quote (from a extra-biblical source) that struck me, and encouraged me. "You are more sinful than you can believe, but you are more loved than you can imagine."

That quote, source unknown to me, wrapped the whole thing up. I might feel hatred that is unrighteous, but I am incredibly and wonderfully loved in spite of that. God loves me even when I can't or won't be loving to Him or to others. Only by that incredible God love can I turn my own hate into love.

That truth, dear Readers, is what makes life worth living.

So...confess to God whatever unflattering thing is in you. And if righteous hatred appears in your heart, know that it is what God feels, too. Either way, we are loved. Forever.

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