Bill Hybels continues Chapter 7 of Simplify by encouraging you to take an assessment of your friendship circles. This assessment is vital to simplifying your relational world. It’s being a good steward of your life and taking a realistic look at the natural influence of others on you.
In Proverbs 6:16-20, Solomon lists seven character traits offensive to God. These traits are so offensive they should act as red warning lights. The first three red warning lights are discussed today.
1. Pride (“haughty eyes”). Pastor Hybels states that people with haughty eyes look down on others. The word arrogance comes to mind. Bill explains the divisive consequences of pride:
“Pride is corrosive, and it rubs off. You’re going to have a hard time developing Christlike humility and thinking of yourself with sober judgment if your close friends are arrogant, full of pride, and looking down their noses at everyone else.”
2. Dishonesty (“a lying tongue”). Most people understand the importance of steering clear of blatant liars. But it is just as important to keep our distance from people who consider little white lies acceptable. Pastor Hybels cautions that omissions also are lies. Silence implicitly signifies agreement, and it’s no different from overtly telling a lie.
3. Mean- spiritedness (“hands that shed innocent blood”). Here Solomon warns us to be wary of those using their power to exploit others. Pastor Hybels observes that, in today’s violence-saturated world, it’s hard to cultivate a gentle heart. Yet, in the face of raw violence in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus healed the servant’s ear. We need more of the Holy Spirit.
Today’s question: How are your true friends “imitators of Christ” to you? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Bridge builder”