God hates a devising heart.
Proverbs tells us that God hates a heart that devises wicked plans. In the book of Proverbs, Solomon writes about wisdom, prudence, understanding, and how to live. He specifically mentions six things God hates, actually seven that are detestable to Him.
As a child and even as I grew older, I assumed those things were not something of which a Christian could be guilty. For God hates sin, and those of us who belong to Him could not possibly be guilty of doing or being something He hates! Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Recently, I decided to take a close look at all seven of these things. I’ve read this scripture every year for the past dozen years, but I’ve never dug deep under the soil of these verses to find what is hidden there. Join me on this seven-week journey to learn more about the things God hates – and why.
Defining Devising or Devises
A devising heart is one that makes carefully-laid plans. To devise is to plan or invent (a complex procedure, system, or mechanism) by careful thought. This is not a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants thinking. It’s carefully thought out and planned out ahead of time. It’s not a knee-jerk reaction. There is thought and time put into the plan. Couple that with wicked planning, and you have a plan that is morally wrong, intended to be or capable of being harmful and hurtful. It’s not something we should be involved in or be a part of. Yet, the fact that this characteristic is even mentioned as one of the seven things God hates, tells me that it’s common to occur. A person who devises evil plans has a heart not aligned with God.
How to know if your heart devises to do wrong
What happens in our hearts comes from our minds in our thinking. We will not harbor evil in our hearts without first considering it in our minds. Then we go from consideration to contemplation. Next we have continuation and before we know it, it becomes a way of thinking, and often a way of life.
When we open the gate, we allow evil to come into our minds. Leaving the gate open deliberately allows us to continue to feed those thoughts. When we do not struggle to nix the thoughts, it is because we enjoy thinking the way we are thinking. We want to keep on thinking and planning. Next thing you know, we follow through in action from what first started in our mind as a single possibility or thought.
Another way to keep the gate open is to fill our minds with wicked thoughts. Fueling our minds with evil or corrupt ideas only adds to the careful planning. A heart that devises corruptness continues on in careful planning to do wrong.
Sometimes this shows up in acts of revenge. Sometimes it shows up in our language. Other times it shows up in deliberate, calculating moves. Cheating, lying, and insubordination are all ways we act out evil schemes and plans that first take root in our minds. A person who is guilty of these things devises ways to continue the plan to be dishonest and insubordinate.
Not trying not to
When we deliberately choose not to try to do right, we are choosing what is wrong. To say to others, “I did not mean to,” or “I was not trying to” is really saying “I did not do my best to not have that outcome. I might not have attempted to do it, but I did not attempt to not go the wrong way.”
It’s so easy to make excuses for our behavior when we know our intent was wicked or wrong – or both. How easy it is to be evasive in truth (telling a lie) just so we do not appear to be as wicked as we are. The truth is God knows it all along. He knows our hearts. He knows when we are devising to be dishonest, selfish, or unwilling. We can present a different front, but the fact of the matter is that we know our plans and whether or not we are planning to do good or planning not to do good. God knows when a person devises evil plans, for He knows our hearts.
Planning for goodness
While it’s true that we are tempted by the devil or by others, it’s also true that we choose how to respond to temptation. The first step in staying out of wrong is to plan for goodness.
It begins in our minds. What we focus on becomes our outlook. Steering clear of others with wicked plans helps us stay on the right track. Recognizing the temptation in order to resist it also helps us stay on track.
Use the shield of Philippians 4:8 when you are unsure of participating in a conversation, an event, an activity, or a plan. If it passes the Philippians 4:8 test, then you can know your heart is innocent of devising wicked plans.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Make no mistake. When your heart is focused on what is true and right, you will not be drawn to devising wicked plans. When your heart is right, you are walking in Light and in Truth.