Start the New Year on the Watch List

Start the New Year on the Watch ListStart the New Year on the Watch List

EXPOSE  |  Only Dangerous People Are on the Watch List

Intended to help the United States track terrorists and prevent any further terror attacks, the watch list can be a very helpful list.  Business Insider identified 8 ways you could find yourself on the FBI watch list: 

You associate with a known terrorist…

You participate in terrorist activities…

You’re suspected of planning crimes…

You’ve destroyed property used by financial institutions…

You’re under “reasonable suspicion”…

You’ve committed violent acts at an airport…

You’ve engaged in any “dangerous” activity intended to influence US policy…

You’re a family member of a known or suspected terrorist..

For someone on this list, every movement, conversation, and action is tracked, evaluated, and logged.  That level of scrutiny reveals an important lesson: something so dangerous needs to be monitored thoroughly and consistently.

However, there is a watch list that you want to find yourself on–and never be removed.

EXPLORE  |  God’s “Watch List”

God’s “watch list” can be found in Proverbs 6:16-19:

“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”

The list is not exhaustive, as indicated by the use of “six things… seven that are an abomination…”, but it does get specific on what we need to be on the lookout for.  And it isn’t that God simply finds these things ‘not okay.’  This list includes things that God hates, and are an abomination to him.  There is an intensity and passion against this list; this list disgusts Him!  

EXECUTE  |  Don’t Stop Watching this List

Dr. Thomas Constable identifies this list as dealing with 5 areas: “attitude (v. 17a), thought (18a), speech (17b, 19a), action (17c, 18b), and influence (19b)”, which is not unlike the view the FBI has into someone on their watch list.  These are areas of particular concern, and therefore require a higher level of scrutiny.

1. Watch your eyes (i.e. “…haughty eyes,”).

What are you saying with your eyes?  Haughty eyes are those that look “arrogantly superior and disdainful”.  That is, prideful eyes.

Pride is a prison that perpetuates anger, hurt, and foolishness while keeping at bay the restorative effects of conviction, humility, and reconciliation…” – Josh Squires

2. Watch your tongue (i.e. “…a lying tongue,”).

How are you using your mouth?  What comes out of it is that which fills the heart (Matt. 12:34).  Bad mouth.  Bad heart.  A bit more on that in no. 4.  Slander is described as “the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.”  Simply put, our mouths either build up or tear down.

Slander occurs whenever someone says something untrue about someone else that results, intentionally or unintentionally, in damaging that someone else’s reputation… Because of its poisonous power, it is one of the adversary’s chief strategies to divide relationships and deter and derail the mission of the church.” – Jon Bloom

3. Watch your hands (“… hands that shed innocent blood,”).

What are you holding on to? How are you handling it? Are your hands helping or hurting?  Do they reach for the truth, or are they tucked away in your pockets?  Are they raised in anger, or worship?  Are your fists clenched, or are they open–willing to give and receive?  Are they protecting the innocent, or aiding in their demise?

4. Watch your heart (“…a heart that devises wicked plans,”).

We speak out of that which fills our heart (Matt. 6:21)… what is your heart full of? What are you hearing yourself say that may indicate a good cleansing is in order?  How is it speaking into your life?  Where is it directing you?  Is soft and sensitive, or thick and hard?  Is it reluctant to receive instruction, or does it desire it?  Are you feeding and nurturing it, or has it been starved too long?   

5. Watch your feet (“…feet that make haste to run to evil,”).

Where are your feet taking you?  Point them in the way that you should go.  Take a step.  Blessed are the feet that brings good news (Isa. 52:7).

Are you running from something? Should you be running from something? Flee if necessary.

6. Watch your stance (“…a false witness who breathes out lies,”).

Who’s side are you on? What are you representing and supporting? Can you be counted on to tell the truth, especially when the stakes are high?  Take your stand against the counsel of the wicked, the sinner, and the scoffer (Psa. 1:1).

7. Watch your influence (“…one who sows discord among brothers.”).

Be aware of who you are influencing, as well as how you are influencing them.  What are you spreading? Are you doing good when it is in your power to do so?  Look at what is growing up around you: is it strife, bitterness, conflict, or is their encouragement, conviction, and hope?

What Does God Love?

Over and against what God hates, are a couple of views into what He loves.  I like what both Micah 6:8 and Isaiah 66:2 prescribe for us:

Micah 6:8 (ESV) – “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (emphasis mine)

Isaiah 66:2 (ESV) – “All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” (emphasis mine)

People are watching you watch yourself; can you be trusted to do that? How can you equip yourself to ensure it?  Proverbs 8:11 is the key to that reality.

Want to be truly dangerous?  Find yourself to be on this watch list this New Year.

Further reading:

How someone ends up on the watch list

Dr. Constable’s notes on Proverbs 6:1-19

Pride is your greatest problem

Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord

Lay aside the weight of slander

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

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