A Wicked Checklist

I’m not really big on checklists in our spiritual journey. They seem so, well, ..... sterile. I mean, this relationship with the Lord should not be about checking things off the list. Our walk with the Lord is to be vibrant , growing, involving prayer, feeding on his Word, and loving others.

Checklists, however, are vital for some professions. Every time I board a plane I am so thankful for pilots who go over their checklists, doing all they can to ensure a good flight that does not end up in a fiery crash! I’m thankful for doctors and nurses who before surgery, check off their list vital things like: is this the correct patient, are we removing the correct body part? You know, things that sort. So checklists can be extremely helpful, helping us stay on track with our tasks.

The Bible isn’t about checklists either. It’s about Gods love for us, the rich and wonderful story of history and that he loves us so much that he sends Jesus to redeem us! Our God makes us his sons and daughters through this marvelous gift of grace in Christ! And then he grows us in that same grace beautifully, as we follow Him.

However, we do find some lists in scripture. One I was reading through recently is found in the book of Proverbs. We find it in chapter 6:16-19. It’s a checklist of sorts about things God hates.

“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him;
*haughty eyes
*a lying tongue
*hands that shed innocent blood
*a heart that devises wicked plans
*feet that make haste to run to evil
*a false witness who breathes out lies
*one who sows discord among brothers."

I’m actually a fan of this type of checklist... it helps me know clearly what displeases the Lord, and in turn what will hurt others. It’s a great checklist because if I’m guilty of even one, our God is reminding me to change course, repent, and run back to him! The writer of Proverbs is giving us a very practical checklist of warnings.

Most of them speak for themselves but I’ll just clarify briefly.

Haughty eyes - the belief that you are better...

Lying tongue - not just a tongue issue... stems from the heart.

Shedding innocent blood - gossip, bearing false testimony, taking of innocent life.

A heart that devises wicked plans - scheming, hurting others. Emotionally, spiritually, financially, physically.

Feet that run to evil - jumping in on gossip, pornography, a long list of vices.

A false witness - lying is insidious, it keeps us from an honest, real relationship with God and others.

Sower of discord- one who does not love seeing others happy. They thrive on drama and half truths.

The writer of Proverbs gives us a succinct, divine, and practical checklist. One that will serve us well as we reflect on it, repent of our foolishness, and continue to run to God. Wisdom reminds us of what David says in Psalm 139: “Search me O God, and know my heart, test me, and know my anxious thoughts, see if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting”

The proverbs checklist is a good one... often painful... (the revelation of sin always is) but as we surrender to his plan and confess the ugliness- his mercies are new every time! Use this checklist often!

Pete Nelson