“And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord.” (Zechariah 8: 17)
The Lord is quite clear here. He is telling the people of Jerusalem how best to please Him. God is straightforward and specific with them on what is intolerable to Him.
These words articulate the law of God, good. They tell the ancient followers and us today that if we are to feel like children of God—free, blessed, loved, worthy—then we would do best to give up those actions and thoughts that deny this heritage.
We may think it’s okay to think badly of others if we keep it to ourselves and don’t act upon our feelings toward them. But if we imagine evil, we are harboring ill will, wishing for another to suffer, and this goes against God’s purpose, against the will of Love. These imaginings do not honor God, nor do they give us the peace that we truly seek. Likewise, to be dishonest, or to make false claims, is to go against God’s nature, and so to lose the power of Truth and the blessings it naturally brings.
God is not asking us to be something we are not. He wants us to be who we truly are—loving, honest, kind, the active expression of His own true wisdom and glorious goodness.
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