Together in Christ: 'Detestable to the Lord' — Proverbs 3:31-32

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Don't envy violent people or copy their ways. Such wicked people are detestable to the Lord, but he offers his friendship to the godly.

— Proverbs 3:31-32 NLT

Key Thought

For decades, the entertainment industry has poured violence into our heads and hearts by portraying all sorts of violent acts committed against and displayed between all kinds of people — many innocent victims of this violence. Often, the heroes of our movies and television shows are people of violence. Often, this violence is unnecessary and excessive. Other times, this violence is portrayed as the logical bringing of vengeance upon those who are violent and abusive.

Unfortunately, over time, we lose our Spirit-placed loathing of violence and those who inflict it on others. We forget that the glorification of violence is anti-Jesus, who absorbed human violence, cruelty, mockery, and abuse to save us. [1] We forget that so much witnessed graphic violence desensitizes us to the actual violence that God hates because it destroys people. Then we wonder why violence is cascading destructively through our cities, fueling and inflaming gang and drug culture.

Today's verses speak a much-needed message in the present atmosphere of pervasive violence. I can remember providentially stumbling over this verse as we struggled with what to allow our children to watch four decades ago. Many of the heroes portrayed in cartoons were heroes who triumphed through violence. This verse changed our selection of TV shows our children watched!

I want God's friendship. I want Him to honor Him as God Almighty, as I also desire to be His friend. I want Jesus to call me his friend like He did His early disciples. [2] So, let's listen again to these words of wisdom from the Holy Spirit. Let's pray they will transform our hearts as we push back against the pervasive influence of violence in our world. Let's remember that God longs to offer His friendship to us!

Don't envy violent people or copy their ways. Such wicked people are detestable to the Lord, but he offers his friendship to the godly.
[1] Isaiah 52:13-53:12.
[2] John 15:9-17.

Today's Prayer

Create a pure heart, dear Father, and create a holy, innocent, loving spirit in me. I need Your grace and power to sustain and protect me. Don't let the prevalence of violence distort my standards of a true hero, but remember Jesus as Your answer to the violence in our world. I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 2 Chronicles 22:1-10
  • Isaiah 52:13-53:12

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Illustration

Illustration of Proverbs 3:31-32 NLT — Don't envy violent people or copy their ways. Such wicked people are detestable to the Lord, but he offers his friendship to the godly.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.