All the sins and mistakes of all the people in the world who have ever lived all combined together and multiplied by a thousand plus ten can NEVER overpower God’s love and peace!
Individually, our sins can never overpower Him. Collectively, our sins cannot exhaust Him. If that were remotely possible, He would not be God. Taking this further, if you think for one second that God “can’t” forgive you and that you have sinned so much that not even God Himself can redeem you, then you’re worshipping an idol and not the God of the Church or the Scriptures. And your arrogance and pride have reached a level that you believe yourself so powerful that your sins overcome God’s mercy. Dearest, that is delusion at the highest level. You just ain’t that powerful.
Look at our lesson today in Proverbs 6:3-20:
Then do this, my son, and save yourself, for you have come into your neighbor’s power: go, hasten, and importune your neighbor. Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber; save yourself like a gazelle from the hunter, like a bird from the hand of the fowler.
Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer or ruler, she prepares her food in summer, and gathers her sustenance in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a vagabond, and want like an armed man. A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, winks with his eyes, scrapes with his feet, points with his finger, with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord; therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.
There are six things which the LORD hates, 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 make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and a man who sows discord among brothers. My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.
Notice what God hates. It isn’t you, but that which keeps you from Him!
- Haughty Eyes
- A Lying Tongue
- Shedding Innocent Blood
- Conniving Wicked Plans
- Fast Choosing Evil
- A False Witness
- Causing Discord and Division
Each item the writer mentions is how someone misuses the faculties the Lord has given us all. From eyes to tongue to hands to heart to feet to mind, and even our human ability to influence; all misused to selfish ends. God hates these things. Do you know why He hates them? He hates them because these things destroy persons God loves. He doesn’t hate them because they “offend” Him. How childish. No, He hates these things because of the destructive power they wield in the lives of people He created and for whom He died and rose again.
Every item in the list describes a choice, an action, or a attitude that breaks harmony, peace, violates love, and destroys relationships! This list reveals God’s deepest desire that we be in intimate connection with Him and each other. Whatever builds communion is from God. Whatever breaks communion, God hates that! Not YOU!
Today, are you gripped with the narcissistic lie that God “can’t” forgive you? Are you trapped in behaviors that are self-destructive? Falling for that old slander against God that He is “angry” with you or is “disappointed in you” is all a trick of the evil one to keep you a slave. God is too humble to be angered by petty human sins. No, He hates what He hates because what He hates hurts you, and He loves you so very much. Even more than you, yourself, know how to love. Let’s abandon the prideful notion of a God Who hates people and embrace the Orthodox understanding of our God Who hates what hurts people and desires only that we be Orthodox on Purpose!
P.S. Join me this Saturday at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Macon,. GA for a one day retreat called “Let Your Light So Shine.” We start at 10 AM at the parish. For more information go to www.holycross.ga.goarch.org