The Mature Thinker
Today’s reading: Proverbs 5-6; 1 Corinthians 14:1-20
16 There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, 19 a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19
20 Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. 1 Corinthians 14:20
Christians are called to be unsophisticated in their personal experience of sin, but not to be ignorant of what God hates and calls evil. On the contrary, we should be clear that extensive experience with wickedness contributes nothing to mature thinking.
In today’s reading, we come across the first of the numerical sayings in Proverbs. [See also Proverbs 30:15-31.] This list includes seven things that God hates. The first six are related to body parts, if you include breath which would imply the participation of the lungs. Certainly, the Scriptures leave no doubt about what is evil. Each of these vices has to do with relationships with others. Haughty eyes look down on other people. Lying may occur in our speech to others or in the formal setting of a false witness. Hands can murder after the heart has concocted the scheme. Feet and legs can carry one to do the wicked deed. God hates the creation of animosity between family members. How God’s gift of life and healthy bodies can be abused for purposes which are an abomination to Him!
Paul calls the Corinthians to live in ways that build up, encourage, and console one another in the church (vs. 3). They seem to be concerned about themselves rather than one another. They use their gifts selfishly. The Apostle wants them to strengthen their ministry to one another. As it is, they show childish thinking and advanced levels of evil. This needs to be reversed.
Hollywood offers entertainment for “mature audiences,” but if the executives in the cinematographic industry believed their Bibles they would change the designation to “immature audiences.” Generally, they do not hate what God hates. As we read in Romans 12:1-2, present your body (eyes, tongue, hands, heart, feet) as a living sacrifice to Him. Be renewed in your mind so that you will be mature in thinking rather than experienced in evil. You will be likely to build up, encourage, and console those around you.