Do You Hate Sin?
Glynnis Whitwer

"For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin." Psalm 36:2 (NIV)

Recently, a publicity firm invited a group of editors of Christian publications to preview a Hollywood film. The film producers were looking to get the message of this film into churches and wanted feedback from people like me in Christian publishing.

The movie was dark, with a theme of unresolved guilt. Sadly, that guilt consumed the main character all his life, until he became a bitter old man. After we viewed the movie, the publicists turned on the lights and led a discussion. Basically, they wanted to know if we would recommend the movie to pastors. I stayed out of the conversation, because I'm a Pollyanna when it comes to movies. I like them happy and with a predictable ending. I know that's not very high-brow, but it's the truth.

However, the ensuing conversation intrigued me. Some people thought the movie was rich with important themes. They believed it would provoke thoughtful discussion. Others couldn't get past the language, and would never recommend it. One woman shared her opinion on the language with eloquence and passion.

She would never recommend it, she said, because of several instances of taking the Lord's name in vain. She defended her position by saying that too many people minimize sin. In fact, she explained, the film violated one of the Ten Commandments, to not misuse the Lord's name (Exodus 20:7).

The conversation continued with the challenge of relating to people without violating any of our beliefs. Our time together ended, and a few people got up to leave, including the woman who spoke against the movie. After she left however, another conversation began when a college-aged woman spoke up.

"My friends and I would never be bothered by the misuse of God's name," she said. "But we should." We sat in silence digesting her words.

That comment plays and replays in my mind. The honesty of that young woman touched me, as she identified a serious problem among those of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus: we tolerate sin. In fact, at times we even re-label it as "normal." I know there's a fine line between being in the culture but not of the culture. But that's not the root of this issue.

That young woman identified the real source: our hearts. We are going to be around sin until we get to heaven. Sin is woven in our human fiber. That's not the issue. The issue is what I think about it. Do I hate anything that sets itself up against God or His character? Do I hate sin?

I guess there's a part of me that shies away from the word "hate." I've taught my children not to use it, and I guard my own thoughts and tongue. Yet in doing so I've tamed my response to something that separates me from God. I've weakened my response and dulled my senses to that which God hates. He hates it because it takes me away from Him. And He loves me…and He loves you.

Call it old-school religion, but it's time for me to reexamine my response to that which God hates. It's time to settle in my heart whose side I'm on. It's time to decide if I will ignore or hate sin. Yep. It's time.

Dear Heavenly Father, break my heart with the things that break Yours. Remove from me any tolerance for the things that oppose You. You are holy and righteous and worthy of any sacrifice I might offer. Forgive me for tolerating the thing that caused the death of my beloved Savior, Jesus. In His Name and for His sake, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do you know Jesus?

i am not but i know I AM by Louis Giglio

Worship: Nearing the Heart of God by Brian T. Anderson & Glynnis Whitwer

Visit Glynnis’ blog – Welcome Home…Where Your Heart Longs to be!

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Application Steps:
Read the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20.

Identify if there is a wrong word, thought or deed in your life you have been tolerating.

What one change can you make this week to turn from that sin?

Power Verses:
Romans 12:9, "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good." (NIV)

Exodus 20:7, "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name." (NIV)

© 2010 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your post helped to make a decision today. Thank you! It is amazing how the topics of your posts repeatedly hit the mark on many different things God is dealing with me on. God really does speak through your ministry.

Anonymous Barb said...

i read this site every morn- y'all speak to so many of us in such real & touching ways. God bless u as u have blessed us!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You touched on a serious problem Chrisitans are facing today. I see my adult children and my teenage son (as well as their friends) minimizing or defending lifestyles and actions. Today's society is so accustomed to sin. TV, movies and advertising promote living for self and all sorts of sinful behavior. I know that even though we try to filter all entertainment in our home, it is becoming harder to avoid objectionable material. In fact, I feel challenged by this devtion to guard my own heart, I too can slip and forget what matters most. Thanks for the reminder.

This is something that came up in one of my ESL classes, this past week. I have been very sensitive to the rampant use of the Lord’s name, in the country where i live now. I’ve realized that it stems from being in a “Catholic” nation; but just as the U.S. was once considered a Christian nation... truthfully, there are far fewer people who believe – but instead are accustomed to religious references, if anything.

When i explained to my student that it offended me to hear him repeatedly use Jesus Christ’s name in vain (in English – he was trying to impress me), he was mystified. He said that he wasn’t using it in vain, but “calling for His help”… He lived in the U.S. for a brief period, and heard people doing this. I explained to him that the way in which he was saying it, is most definitely not honoring Jesus – and the way it is used in our everyday American society is only used out of disrespect. I told him that you can usually hear it combined with another expletive, to which he replied this he would never emulate.

As uncomfortable as it was to really explain how irreverent our society is, and how prevalent the disrespect to Jesus Christ and His Father is (it’s in almost every show, in one form, or another) …it really helped me to get a little insight as to why it is customary here. One, it’s considered a good luck charm – they just save time by not forming a petition – but just calling out the name of God… Two, they think that is what all Americans do – as per our movies and tv series – and the American culture is considered THE culture to imitate.

People in this [formerly] predominately Catholic country have believed that we are still a predominantly Christian country, and are shocked to the point of disbelief when i tell them the true current spiritual climate, and attack on Christian beliefs in the United States of America: the yearly fight over Christmas décor and celebrations, the repercussions of prayer in schools, the removal of the 10 Commandments sculpture from the court – and the removal of the judge who did not comply in doing so himself; the San Antonio, Texas man that was recently arrested for witnessing on the sidewalks of the city…

They are speechless, as they process what i tell them. They had no idea it was so bad in the U.S.

Sadly, i don’t think that Christian Americans are aware, either…

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree.Using God or Jesus's name in vain is not appropriate behavior.Generally those who use such words are not really having a "relationship" with Christ to understand that those words could in fact be hurtful to him.However, keeping yourselves and your children away from such people(who do not have that true working relationship with Christ), only alienates both parties....Jesus spent his entire life loving people.No matter where they were in life. ESPECIALLY if they had no relationship with him or his Father at all.Such people are generally called the "LOST".While they may very well be,condemnation,pretentious judgement, and avoidance will not get them anywhere closer to Christ.Jesus knew this.Daily, he immersed himself with these so-called degenerates, leaving the pharisees in constant disarray(giggle). Do we hold oursevles to a higher standard than Christ? Seeking the unsaved goes beyond strongarming them with our beliefs, or turning our backs to them.We must do as Jesus did, love them exactly where there. Then, they too, will desire the contentment our Father has placed in our hearts.

Blogger Kate Bassini said...

I'm so grateful for this word today!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Blogger Christine said...

Thank you for the reminder to look in the mirror a bit more. I appreciate it. It's what I needed to hear. A long morning with my children where I'm not proud of how I handled things. I needed a reminder to look to God and not call on him in vain - even metaphorically. I need to turn to him rather than pretend to look to him while relying on myself. Thanks.

As an aside on this post, which I don't think is what you were talking about, just as I think we need to be cautious as Christians not to let our hearts accustom themselves to sin, we need to not block out sin and miss seeing the sinner. All good stories, including the entire bible, have people sinning rampantly. Too often we close ourselves to the world because we think we're better. We don't watch movies where people swear. We don't use the Lord's name in vain. But that doesn't make us any better and sometimes we miss the point of other people's stories or people themselves because all we hear is the sin and not the sinner and we turn it off. We lose our relationship with the world and people around us if we cut ourselves off from other people's sin. Then we're just salt without it's saltiness. It's a tough balance.

Anonymous Terri said...

God sure does use you ladies as a vessel to get His Word into our hearts and minds. I pray every day when I wake up that God will speak boldly and clearly to me so that I may discern His will. He does it so many times through Prov. 31. Thanks.

Blogger Kathy said...

There are so many things here to talk about. Not knowing if the movie was about Christians or not. Unresolved guilt, unforgiveness are consequences of not finding peace with God, forgiveness and healing thru Jesus. Isn't this the power of the gospel? Hollywood can't resolve this in a movie without infusing Christ in the story. Do we expect that they can? Two, I agree that behavior that is contrary to Christ should be noticed by us. However, not to keep us sheltered from sin but to pursue those with the love and grace of Christ that He himself as pursued us. Sin of others should help us understand the depravity of our own soul and christs redemption of us and push us to pursue others with the grace love and forgiveness with which we ourselves have been redeemed.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do hate sin very much. I am thankful the Lord can remove sin for me and I don't have to remove it on my own. That would be impossible for me. :)

Anonymous Rachel said...

Amen and Amen! Agree 100%

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