READ: Psalm 101
THINK: “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9
Hate: Intense or passionate dislike.
Cling: Hold on tightly to.
My eighteen month old is picking up new words every day and copying just about everything she sees adults do. I am becoming increasingly aware of the words I let slip out of my mouth because I know some day soon I will hear them repeated by a little girl. One of the words I’ve realized I use all too often is hate. I know it’s not swearing, but it sure can be ugly and it really shouldn’t be used lightly.
Paul urges us in Romans 12:9 to hate what is evil. Centuries before Paul wrote Romans, King David wrote Psalm 101 and gave us an incredible description of how he chose to live by this God-honoring principle. Read Psalm 101 in the New Living Translation and allow it fall on open ears and an open mind.
1 I will sing of your love and justice, Lord.
I will praise you with songs.
2 I will be careful to live a blameless life—
when will you come to help me?
I will lead a life of integrity
in my own home.
3 I will refuse to look at
anything vile and vulgar.
I hate all who deal crookedly;
I will have nothing to do with them.
4 I will reject perverse ideas
and stay away from every evil.
5 I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors.
I will not endure conceit and pride.
6 I will search for faithful people
to be my companions.
Only those who are above reproach
will be allowed to serve me.
7 I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house,
and liars will not stay in my presence.
8 My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked
and free the city of the Lord from their grip.
David was writing about the standards he used as a leader. We can apply these same standards as leaders and in our homes. David was serious about obedience to God. He knew it meant sacrifice. He knew it meant hating everything evil, not just the things that were easy to hate. In verse three he says he refused to even lay eyes on things that are vulgar. Think about the shows you watch, the images you view on the computer screen, the magazines and novels you read. Read verses 3-8 and think about the friends you spend your time with and allow to influence your decision-making. Do you truly hate what is evil? Are your standards similar to that of David or do you walk the line and allow yourself to have “guilty pleasures”? If your standards are not designed to make you more like Jesus, you should re-evaluate them. In 1 John 2:15 John wrote, “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.”
APPLICATION: Write out a list of the shows and movies you have watched in the last week. Add to that list the magazines, articles, and books you have read and the websites you have viewed. Read verses 2-5 again and ask yourself if the things you’ve allowed to come into your mind are vulgar, vile, crooked, or perverse? If they are, confess it to God, ask for forgiveness and for strength to break bad habits. Write another list of the people you have spent the most time with in the last week. Read verses 5-8 and decide if those people pass David’s test of individuals he wants to be his close companions. If they don’t pass, talk to God about how you can continue to love those people without letting them have a negative influence in your life. Ask God to bring godly friends into your life.
Written by: Cari Widdel