I love the New King James translation of the Bible. When I was 7, I got a pink Precious Moments edition, complete with little devotionals geared toward kids scattered throughout. Nearly 22 years later, I still have that Bible, tucked away with some others treasures, and have yet to use another translation regularly. Because, come on. How can you possibly not love a translation that has words like abomination in it?
Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who deal truthfully are His delight. – Proverbs 12:22 (NKJV)
This is the verse that I am currently working on memorizing, and I just love the imagery. Lying lips. So smooth, yet ultimately so deadly. Whatever shade they are, the words that pour forth are black. Deceitful horrors. This is an abomination to the Lord.
Abomination is defined as “a thing that causes disgust or hatred.” The Hebrew here is to ebah, meaning “a disgusting thing…in [both] the ritual [and the] ethical [senses].” In God’s eyes, lying is like eating rotten, botulism-infested food. It makes Him sick. He detests it. He’ll push it away when it’s offered every single time.
I love how frank God is about this. I love that He’s so serious about sin in our lives. He doesn’t beat around the bush and He doesn’t let us get away with fudging, hemming or hawing.
But He doesn’t stop there.
Delight is defined as “great pleasure.” The Hebrew in 22:b is ratson, meaning “pleasure, delight, favor, goodwill, acceptance.” God feels as strongly about the truth (and the lips that speak it) as He does about lying. He pushes away whatever falsehood is offered to Him, but He accepts anything truthful. He will reject those that try to flatter Him, but He will hold closely those who seek Him in humility.
I want to be as fiery about lies and truth as the Lord is. I want to know what it is that He hates so that I can run away from it. It is no small thing to play with what God spits out. Indeed, it is an ugly thing.
The mind controlled by the Spirit is the mind steeped in truth. In practical terms, neither I nor anyone else will deal victoriously with anxiety if we lack vigilance in our thought-lives. One careless moment, one seemingly-harmless negative, contrary line creates havoc. It is an abomination when I think (and therefore say, for all our thoughts lead to speech eventually) that God won’t take care of me, that He doesn’t notice me, that I have to make everyone happy, that the work left at the end of the day is entirely my responsibility, that I am not good enough/smart enough/pretty enough/whatever enough. All this is in direct opposition to what He reveals about Himself and what He says about what He has created.
God asks, “Will you trust me?”
If I say “yes,” and then don’t, I’m lying.
Thankfully, He can (and does!), reform the worst of us liars.