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What Grieves the Heart of God?

As the son of a former member of the military, my father pushed me as a child. When my dad felt like I wasn’t giving my best effort, he went into his Army Drill Sergeant mode. As an extremely emotional and unconfident individual, this wasn’t an effective strategy to inspire me to reach my full potential in life. Despite my father’s imperfections as a parent, he instilled within me a work ethic that few people my age still possess. Arriving early and giving it my all remains part of my DNA today.

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved at heart. So the Lord said, I will destroy, blot out, and wipe away mankind, whom I have created from the face of the ground—not only man, [but] the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air—for it grieves Me and makes Me regretful that I have made them, Genesis 6:5-7.

Unfortunately, there were a few times in college where I greatly grieved my mother by not calling her in the middle of the night to inform her, I was staying over a friend’s house before I went to work. On one occasion she thought I had died like a similar student my age. The parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 provides a glimpse of what God the Father does when we decide to live on our own for a while. Luke compares this to a human father sitting on his front porch, patiently waiting for our return.

These six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others], a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who breathes out lies [even under oath], and he who sows discord among his brethren. 20 My son, keep your father’s [God-given] commandment and forsake not the law of [God] your mother [taught you], Proverbs 6:16-20.

While the Lord is a patient, King Solomon does write about what God detests. These behaviors listed in the passage above are prevalent on the nightly news. Whenever a saint begins to stumble by turning their attention toward the sinful nature God’s heart grieves. According to Jesus, this is expected by non-Christians, but God calls believers to higher standards in Matthew 5:43-48. Rather than follow in the footsteps of Demas who abandoned God in the first century, mend your relationship with God before you become too far gone, James 5:16.

by Jay Mankus

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