We may have a hard timing think of Yahweh – the Lord God – as a person like us who experiences thoughts and feelings toward us, sees and hears us, and even has likes and dislikes. But we learn in the Bible several things that God both loves and hates.

We know he loves things that are the very essence of his character – faithfulness and truthfulness – and as a relational God, he loves sincerity, humility and intimate relationships.

But along with that, there are also several things which he hates.

There are six things which the Lord [Yahweh] hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers. —Proverbs 6:16–19

Let’s briefly explore each of these.

1. Haughty eyes.

People with haughty eyes are condescending – they feel that others are beneath them and look at them with contempt. In the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18, Jesus made it clear which of these two souls went home justified. It was the tax collector who showed humility toward God, rather than the Pharisee who was prideful and had haughty eyes, viewing others with contempt.

We must follow the tax collector’s example, showing kindness, grace and humility toward others – even more so those who don’t share our same abilities or advantages. We must never consider ourselves better than others and we must love them at Yahweh does.

2. A lying tongue.

I find it both amazing and heartbreaking that so many people who claim to follow Yahweh are such habitual liars. Many don’t seem to think anything of it or even realize they are doing it. I think most people who lie do so out of a sense of fear of the repercussions of telling the truth. We know from God’s Word that He cannot lie; He is truth and light, and in Him there is no darkness at all (Num. 23:19; 1 John 1:5). I have learned that if I commit to not lying, God honors that and will give me the wisdom to respond in challenging situations.

3. Hands that shed innocent blood.

While many people equate this to murder, I believe it actually refers to taking advantage of innocent people in a variety of ways. One clear example is in the business world, where we see greedy individuals who prey upon the innocent for financial gain. And it is not only our actions toward others that God will judge, but also our thoughts and words toward them. We must carefully govern all aspects of how we treat one another.

4. A heart that devises wicked plans.

Some hearts are so turned toward evil that they dwell constantly on ways to stir up trouble. We see this in many mainstream and biased media outlets which report only part of the story or a twisted version of it in order to support a false, agenda-driven narrative. This is something Yahweh hates.

5. Feet that rapidly run to evil.

While not physically running to evil, I believe this also applies to Christians who embrace a spirit of criticism or constant complaining. It may be much easier to go that route, but we must resist that temptation and instead discipline ourselves to control our tongues, which should be reserved for blessing and praising others. As we read in Scripture, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (Phil. 4:8).

We can be people whose feet avoid evil by overcoming it with good as we focus on having conversations that are pleasing to Yahweh.

6. A false witness who utters lies.

This is different than a lying tongue, which is more about self-preservation. A false witness is someone who shares untruths about others, engaging in malicious gossip intentionally to hurt others. We must avoid this and commit to only speaking words that are truthful.

7. Spreading strife among others.

Spreading strife seems to go hand-in-hand with running swiftly to evil. These are people who are caught in negative cycles of criticizing, complaining and gossiping, with an agenda to stir up strife between others. We instead are called to be peacemakers, preserving the bond of unity and love, and we must avoid spreading strife.

If we want to be people who are close to the heart of Yahweh, we must learn to love those things that he loves, and hate those things which he hates.

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