“What is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God”

What pleases you — is it what pleases God? In Luke 16:9-15 we learn there is a conflict between what pleases humans and what pleases God.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth,
so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?
No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.”

The Pharisees, who loved money,
heard all these things and sneered at him.
And he said to them,
“You justify yourselves in the sight of others,
but God knows your hearts;
for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.

Human esteem is often measured in wealth and much less in honesty. It is often assumed that if you are wealthy that you are successful and that if you are honest you won’t go far in life. But what Jesus is telling us here is that what God considers successful and what many humans consider successful often aren’t the same. Jesus pointedly says, “What is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.” And that can cover a lot of things, not just wealth — like the things wealth can buy.

Put your stock not in wealth and possessions but in what is of esteem to God. Wealth isn’t the problem, it is what we do with wealth. Possessions aren’t the issue, it’s what we do with them. For God allows us many gifts and many opportunities to share them for the betterment of all. And the real issue boils down to our relationships with others, for Jesus teaches us in the Gospels that what matters most to God is that we love Him with all our hearts, minds, and souls and that we love one another as ourselves.

In another part of Gospel scripture, Jesus tells us not to swear on anything, but to mean yes when we say yes and no when we say no. Therein is the sign of our honesty with each other and with God. If we love one another, we will be honest with each other, and there will be no need to swear on anything.

Seek not what is esteemed by human nature but what is esteemed by God, who knows what is in your heart. That is what pleases Him.

 

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