For several weeks our minister led a Wednesday night Bible study from Proverbs.  One lesson from chapter 6 caught my interest and impressed me.  “These six things the Lord hates, yea seven are an abomination to Him.  A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises evil, feet that are swift to mischief, a false witness, and sowing discord among brethren.”

   Since I was in charge of the foyer bulletin board at the time, I decided those verses needed to be displayed as a reminder in our daily walk.  I bought card stock and construction paper, then went to work cutting out letters and drawing pictures. 

   After an hour or so of cutting, pinning, and stapling, the work was done.  I arranged a row of pretty flowers interspersed with weeds, cleverly labeled “proud look,” “lying tongue,” “murdering hands,” “wicked heart,” etc.  Then I placed a hoe in the middle of the weeds.  I entitled the board “WEED OUT SIN.”  At the lower right corner I placed the reference:  Proverbs 6:16-19.

   Stepping back, I admired my work, thinking I had done a remarkable job!  Glowing in my accomplishment, I asked the minister as he came by, “Can you tell I was paying attention to your lessons from Proverbs?”

   Slowly shaking his head, he grinned and announced, “You spelled ‘discord’ incorrectly.”  

   I gulped, then looked at the board.  There in bold letters was the weed labeled “sowing discard.”  I wanted to melt into the floor!  How embarrassing!

   Then he said, “Don’t feel bad.  We all make mistakes.  I do every day!”

   I knew he was trying to make me feel better, so I answered miserably, “At least I just got rid of my proud look!”

   Immediately, I cut another letter and changed the “a” to “o” and the board was correctly completed.  As a librarian, I had discarded many books, stamped “discard” on many objects, so it was a mistake easily made.  Nonetheless, I was humbled.

   It is humiliating to realize that after teaching English and working as a librarian for so long, I am still making mistakes and learning new things.  I am still working on that proud look and the six other sins that God hates.  Maturity comes slower to some of us than others, but I press on.  May God help me to rid the sin and instead live a life more like Jesus every day.


Joyce Smith Broyles is a retired High School Librarian and resides in Jennings, LA.