Today Bill Hybels concludes his discussion of Solomon’s seven character traits (red warning lights) that are offensive to God (Chapter 7 of Simplify).
4 & 5. Looking for Trouble (“a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that . . . rush into evil”). Solomon’s warning is to people who have no qualms about taking advantages of someone else’s vulnerability or gullibility to make a quick buck. Pastor Hybels notes you can tell when people are up to no good because they go out of their way to justify their schemes.
In God’s eyes, even “corner cutting” and “little integrity lapses” are a big deal. Compromising one’s morals is a slippery slope to avoid at all cost.
6. Spreading Gossip and Slander (“a false witness who pours out lies”). In Proverbs 11:13, Solomon writes: “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.” Pastor Hybels reminds us we need to be truth tellers and confidence keepers.
7. Divisive (“a person who stirs up conflict”). Avoid a person who spreads dissension. The author observes: “It doesn’t take long to figure out whether someone is fundamentally a polarizer or unifier; a bridge builder or a bomb thrower.” Choose close friends who are as committed to being a bridge builder as you are. It is a big deal to hang with people of sound Christian character, people who exhibit the foundational fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Today’s question: Which of Solomon’s character traits are most difficult for you to avoid? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Three levels of friendship”