What Does God Love?
by Debbie Holloway
I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave (Psalms 86:12).
There is a very famous passage in Proverbs detailing what God hates. Indeed, throughout the Bible God never shows reluctance to speak against behaviors he finds detestable. This should come as no surprise to us, being that he is holy and man has amassed a large amount of sinful tendencies since he first came into the world.
But what does God love? While avoiding the “bad” list – is there a “good” list toward which we can be working? Let’s dissect Proverbs 6:16 to discern the things which God loves.
God hates “haughty eyes.”
Therefore, God loves eyes which gaze with humility. Not a false or broken humility of despising oneself, but a genuine, Christ-like choice to serve others, not draw undue attention to oneself, and treat others with great honor and respect.
God hates “a lying tongue.”
Therefore, God loves a tongue which speaks truth. Note that this does not say a brash tongue, or a loud tongue, or a tongue which speaks its opinion at any and every possible moment. Rather, he loves a tongue which, when it does speak, values honesty and artlessness.
God hates “hands that shed innocent blood.”
Therefore, God loves hands which protect the innocent. Throughout Scripture, God’s compassion for the defenseless and the innocent is clear. He commends his children (in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Covenant) to protect the defenseless (Psalm 82:3-4), welcome the alien (Matthew 25:35), care for the widow (James 1:27), defend the orphan (Deut. 24:17), and mourn with those who are mourning (Romans 12:15). We are to be peaceful citizens, not bloodthirsty citizens, and our hands should therefore strive to protect innocence.
God hates “a heart that devises wicked plans.”
Therefore, God loves a heart which devises good and righteous plans. God loves our desires to serve, our desires to help, our desires to minister. When our hearts long to carry out God’s plans for goodness, righteousness, and peace, it delights him.
God hates “feet that run rapidly to evil.”
Therefore, God loves feet which run rapidly to goodness. Our feet carry enormous power. Where we choose to walk can truly define who we are as a person. Will we choose to walk away from a fruitless argument, or remain in an attempt to stubbornly prove a point? Will we choose to chase after those whom we have wronged, falling at their feet with love and humility? Will we let our feet wander to where the Spirit leads us, or will our feet guide us to our own selfish desires?
God hates “a false witness who utters lies.”
Therefore, God loves a trustworthy witness who speaks the truth. When we are beacons of integrity, truth, and honor, God rejoices. In any situation, a witness is charged to faithfully report what happened to the best of his ability. The greatest witness we can be is a faithful witness of God’s redeeming work in our lives. Will we stand boldly and speak the truth of God to the world? Are we living our lives as false witnesses, or trustworthy witnesses?
God hates “one who spreads strife among brothers.”
Therefore, God loves one who spreads peace among his brothers. It is really only possible to spread peace or strife. Every word we speak contributes one of those two attitudes to our relationships. And God loves those who value peace over 1) proving a point, 2) being heard, or 3) manipulating situations. With one word at a time, God wants us to change our attitude and sow seeds of peace in our relationships.
Intersecting Faith and Life
Pick one thing that God loves and work to implement more of it into your daily life.
Image Credit: ©Unsplash/RachelLynetteFrench
The Characters of Christmas is a podcast created to help you take a fresh look at the Christmas story by getting to know the minor characters that played a part in Jesus’ birth. It is the companion to Dan Darling's book "The Characters of Christmas: The Unlikely People Caught Up in the Story of Jesus."