Jump Start # 2269
Proverbs 10:18 “He who conceals hatred has lying lips, and he who spreads slander is a fool.”
Our times finds society in an all out assault against hatred. Hate-crimes is a serious offensive. Many public figures have found themselves in hot water because they said something that they shouldn’t. Some have had to face the microphone of public apology. Others lost their jobs. Hatred and prejudice are closely linked but they are not the same. Surprising to many, especially those who rarely read the Bible, is that God hates. A few pages before, Proverbs six, we find a list of seven things God hates. They are all about people. They are the actions of people. You won’t find in that list pollution, dumping unwanted cats in a secluded place, cars that won’t start in the winter, high prices, clothes that no longer fit. No, God’s lists is about people. It’s the actions and attitudes of people that God hates. He hates lying. He hates pride. He hates taking life. He hates evil. It is incorrect to say “God doesn’t hate anything.”
Our verse isn’t about God, but us. It’s about concealing hatred with lying lips. The heart hates, but the lips don’t show it. The lips are telling another story. Now, why would a person do such a thing?
Maybe there is a situation in which you are trying to advance your career and the person standing in the doorway is someone you hate. You fake liking them. You cover up your hatred just long enough to get what you are after.
There are two problems that our verse presents.
First, is hatred. Why are we hating someone? Why are we hating someone who was created in the image of God, as we have been, and who Jesus died for, just like us? We hate wrong. We hate being taken advantage of. We hate evil. We hate people who use others. Some people you just have to love from a distance, because too close and they will harm you.
We must deal with this hatred. It will eat you up and consume you. It will control your thoughts and color your impressions of others. Hatred takes us places that we shouldn’t go to. Revenge, getting even and thinking the worse fills our minds when hatred is swirling around in our hearts.
The second problem listed in our verse is lying lips. The hatred is covered up with false words. A pretense which isn’t true is presented. Rather than dealing with a situation, working things out, the lying assumes all things are fine. They are not. There is hatred. But it would never be known because of the lying lips.
The person who does this is called a “fool.” That’s the strongest word God uses against someone in the Bible. The fool says there is no God. The rich farmer who was going to tear down his barns and build larger ones was called a fool.
Hiding hatred isn’t the way to go. Then what should we do? Should we just tell a person that “I hate you.” That won’t bring many positive results. That usually leads to an ugly dog fight and someone almost always loses. It may make us feel better to at least be honest with our feelings rather than hiding them, but that’s not the direction the Bible wants us to go.
The answer lies in dealing with the hatred. That must be removed from our hearts. Understanding how Christ could love His crucifiers helps. Practicing forgiveness helps. Not dwelling upon the pain helps. Finding positive ways to build bridges with others helps. John reminds us that if we do not love our brethren, we really do not love God.
Some folks, even other Christians, can push the limits with us. Some are obnoxious. Some are noisy. Some always have to be in command and have to have their way. Some talk too much. Some smell. Some like to butt in. Some are overly opinionated. Some think they know everything. Some like to run your life for you. Some are slower than a snail. Some are always trying to change things and never seem content. Some could be arrested by the fashion police for what they are wearing. Some take forever to tell a story, especially in a Bible class. Some can’t lead singing, but they think they can. Some can’t lead singing without preaching their own little sermon before each song. Some aren’t very good at announcements, they can’t even pronounce peoples names right. Some keep the church building like a furnace and others like it’s a freezer. Some can’t park straight. Some preachers take the Jericho approach to a sermon. They march around a topic seven times before they actually preach it. Some preachers say “in conclusion” when they still have another fifteen minutes to go. Some end too soon and others never seem to end. Some folks are bothered if someone is sitting in “their spot.” Need I go on?
There’s enough there to scream at one another. However, we don’t. We are family. We are brought together by the blood of Jesus. Love, forgiveness, grace and a whole bunch of patience is what keeps us together. Now, when we are a bit too sensitive, these differences and irritations can turn into hatred. That’s when problems begin. That’s when some start looking for the door or start thinking about forming another church, one that will not have any of “those others” included.
Hatred topped off with lying lips spells trouble. Get rid of the hatred and there no longer remains a need for lying lips. Honesty becomes the banner by which we stand together.
I expect, truth be known, most of us couldn’t stand a church filled with ourselves. Most wouldn’t want to marry someone just like themselves. We need better people around us. We need differences to make us realize that we haven’t thought everything through carefully. We need all kinds of voices to sing. We need different styles of preachers to preach. We need each of us, even though we can irritate, bump and crowd each other.
Don’t hate. Don’t lie. Look beyond yourself. See things through the eyes of Jesus.