“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that hurry to run to evil, a lying witness who testifies falsely, and one who sows discord in a family.” Proverbs 6:16-19
What are the six of the things which God intensely dislike and disgust him? An air of superiority, liars, murders, plotters, lovers of evil, and false witness (liars again). A seventh that is despicable to him, “one who sows discord in a family.” Troublemakers peeve God! In sowing discord, the instigator willing inflicts harm on others and tempting them to respond in sin.
The word family should be interpreted broadly. Our families are not limited to our birth but include our circle of friends and community, including our church. We have all experienced the pain of a “family member.” Someone who has created rifts in the harmony of our relationships, often causing pain to not just one person but the whole community. No wonder this causes distress to God.
When we look around today, we see lots of discord. Thanks to the easy access to social media, these troublemakers have an easy platform to stir up hate and distrust. Our human nature wants to react in kind. “Oh, so they said that, did they. Then I’m going to do this.” A retaliatory response that is perhaps worse than the initial infraction. Beloved, it is only in Christ that we can rise above the chaos to harmony. In Him, we find the strength required to respond in kindness to strife. In the Holy Spirit, we need to seek discernment before we respond.
Precious and Loving God, we come to you today, giving you all thanks and praise. We recognize we have been guilty of the things you hate and find abominations. For that, we lament and ask your forgiveness. Let us not be sowers of discord, and when faced with friction and conflict to respond in a way that reflects you. Please help us to turn to the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us. In the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.