Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” Luke 16:14-15

Is there anything worse than “an abomination in the sight of God”? In the immediate context, Jesus is addressing the love of money. But is that all that qualifies? Can you think of anything highly esteemed among men which is not an abomination in the sight of God?

Seriously, this is not a rhetorical question. Make a list; force yourself to think.

In defense of our culture, honesty and integrity may come to mind, even sacrificial love. But really, are these highly esteemed among men? Or is that what we would like to believe? If the Christian virtues are so highly esteemed, why are they so much the exception, rarely celebrated, like exotic animals trapped in a zoo?

Come on, think!

Now, let’s take something of a different course. We can safely assume Jesus is not including the things of God’s kingdom as abominations in His sight. That narrows things down a bit, but still leaves us with much more than money to consider. Here’s an example from A. W. Tozer, just to make the point:

Man’s moral fall has clouded his vision, confused his thinking and rendered him subject to delusion. One evidence of this is his all but incurable proneness to confuse values and put size before quality in his appraisal of things. The Christian faith reverses this order, but even Christians tend to judge things by the old Adamic rule. How big? How much? and How many? are the questions oftenest asked by religious persons when trying to evaluate Christian things.

I need to confess that I have no intention of calling out all the things which are highly esteemed among men. That would be too exhausting for me and too easy for you. I am encouraged that each one of us must go through the exercise for ourselves; to individually and prayerfully consider what is highly esteemed by our society, our influencers, and the people we run with. And then, we must ask ourselves the hard questions:

What are we highly esteeming along with them?

Which of these things are the things of this world?

Think! Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. As you do, remember this: our subconscious is the carnal mind’s playground. We would do well to allow the LORD to lead the investigation. Psalm 139:23-24 is always a good starting point.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

Discovery should lead to 1John 1:9.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Living in the world, but not of the world is incredibly difficult. Some would say impossible, and rightly so. Without Christ, we can do nothing; yet, through Him, we can do all things. We are not sufficient for these things; our sufficiency is from God.

We are not sufficient, but we are responsible. So, think about it!

God bless you with grace for the difficult questions and impossible responses.

Humbly yours and forever His,


Tozer, A. W. (2015). Born After Midnight. Chicago: Moody Publishers