SOAP stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. Today’s journal comes from reading Psalm 15.
“In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord.” –Psalm 15:4
These are two of about eleven characteristics of a godly man listed in Psalm 15.
Despise: hold in contempt, disdain; to be loathsome
Reprobate: A vile person; flagrant sinner
Honors: To hold in high estimation; to esteem
There’s something natural about us to laugh at or be interested in vile, sinful people and their behavior. But a godly person is to hold such behavior in contempt. We are to be disgusted with it. And, although we are to love sinners and seek peace with our enemies, their may be times when, as in this verse, we are to consider the person contemptible and loathsome.
At the same time, we are to honor and hold in high esteem all who fear the Lord and seek to please Him.
I find times when good Christians violate these qualities. For some reason, it’s not unknown for Christians to be more critical and mocking of other believers who may have certain proclivities and more respectful of unbelievers/ungodly people who, though not “weird” by worldly standards, nevertheless, engage in some pretty disgusting sinful behavior.
Which bothers me more: A Christian whose cultural taste is way out of date or a “hip” person who uses foul, blasphemous language?
A Christian with some wild worship practices or a nice unbeliever cheating on his wife?
I could go on, but the point is simple: learn to love and value what God values and learn to despise what God despises.
Father, help me to live both of these qualities. Might I hold in high esteem EVERY person who lives for You, even if some of what they do is very different than what I’m comfortable with.
Likewise, might I hate evil. Show me how and when you want me to despise the EVIL DOER as well. All of this is because I love You above all else! Make me a channel of Your love and of displaying both your love and your holy and righteous indignation to others.
For Your glory, Amen.