Something Worth Hating

Here are six things God hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion: eyes that are arrogant,a tongue that lies, hands that murder the innocent, a heart that hatches evil plots, feet that race down a wicked track, a mouth that lies under oath, a troublemaker in the family. Proverbs 6:16-19

Hate is a strong word…it literally means to loathe or detest. I hate flying beetles; untangling Christmas lights; the taste of sour kraut; shopping for a new bra; cancer. But after giving it some thought — hands down, the thing I hate most is the abuse of children. Whenever I hear of a child’s innocence being violated by the evil hands or hateful words from another, a righteous anger boils up in me. It’s sickening to let my mind think for one moment of the abuses that happen way too frequently, every day, all around this world. How the heart of God must break at the depths of such sinfulness. How much He must hate; loathe; detest the assault on the most vulnerable and innocent ones among us.

It would be better for you to tie a millstone around your neck and jump into the sea; than to hurt one of His children. Luke 17:2

With a problem this big and so vast, what are we to do? How can we really make a difference? Here’s some steps all Christians can take to be part of the solution.

  1. Speak up when you see abuse. Defend & protect children from bullies and predators.
  2. Love, listen, & value the children in your life…teachers, Sunday school leaders, parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles! Slow down and give ear to the kids. Reassure them that they are safe with you. Explain to them why they should not keep secrets from you. Keep the lines of communication open.
  3. Discuss with your children how to stay safe from predators and bullies. For example: Never go with an adult you do not know. Mommy will not send someone else to pick you up. Go tell another adult if you feel frightened or uneasy with a situation.
  4. Place boundaries around your children to guard their innocence. Even when others “mock” your restrictions, stick to your guns. Your kids are worth protecting! Some of the things I hope you will consider: No boy baby sitters. No biking outside your neighborhood. Encourage sleepovers at YOUR home. Parental controls on computers, phones, & video games.
  5. Pray for your children! Ask God to put a hedge of angelic protection round their lives. Ask God to give you discernment & wisdom on how to best protect them from harm. Rebuke the devil from your child’s life.
  6. Never ever ever harm a child! You may not be a child molester…but you can harm a child with hateful, angry words. If your angry, walk away and calm down before talking to children. Determine to speak words of life…that build up, not tear down. You cannot tell a child enough how special & loved they are. It’s food to their little souls.

I know it’s a downer to discuss such ugly topics. But we cannot afford to be like a ostrich with our head stuck in the ground. Our children need our protection of their hearts, minds, and bodies. May God help us!

The Extra Mile!

Receiving a frantic phone call from my son sent my heart racing.  While away on vacation, he received word that his dog, Lucy, had been hit by a truck.  Unable to get home, Caleb needed me to come to the rescue.  Little did I know, that God had already sent a few angels ahead of me.

I arrived on scene to over a dozen strangers ( and 1 very kind policeman) who were caring for Lucy the best they could.  What astonished me was the degree everyone was willing to help…water, towels, transportation, calls to vets, comforting me.  Two car loads followed me to the vet, and were still in the waiting room 3 hours later when Lucy unfortunately passed away.  On the eve of the 4th of July holiday — when people are rushing to prepare for their own family celebrations — this group of people showed me (and Lucy) incredible kindness.  They really went the EXTRA mile.

We live in a hurried, harsh world.  People have become too busy; too distracted; too cynical.  We no longer expect others to treat us with kindness.  We’re even surprised when someone let’s us go first in line or offers a helping hand.   Kindness has become rare…even among Christians.

Last night moved me — challenged me to reconsider how much kindness is flowing from my own life.  Sure, I’m kind on the surface. I smile. I open the door for others.  I say “please” and “thank you”.  But the kindness Jesus wants me to show this world is radical.  His kindness goes the extra mile.

Go the extra mile.  Matthew 5:41

Be kind to one another; tenderhearted. Ephesians 4:32

As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

12 total strangers impacted my life last night with kindness.  If I — if you — if the church were to dare to show “extra mile” kindness more often, our impact in the world would greatly increase.  Kindness will make us shine brightly, like a light set up on a hill.  I hope this will give you food for thought.  May the Lord continue to speak to all our hearts about His way of kindness.