Webster's new World Dictionary, Concise Edition (1960) lying open on a desk

Detestation: Wednesday Words

This is an oldie but a goodie I came across in a quote from Thomas Goodwin, an English Puritan theologian and preacher who lived in the 1600s.

Goodwin was expounding on Ephesians 2:4-7, which says, “But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.”

Goodwin soundly proclaims that Paul addresses with “detestation” the idea that God would ever even think of abandoning his children whom he loves (quoted from The Works of Thomas Goodwin).

Detestation: an intense dislike

This seems an interesting time to be talking about detestations, after those of us in the U.S. recently celebrated Thanksgiving and focused on all of the things we’re grateful for!

But talk about it I will. After I looked up the definition, I almost smacked myself in the head. It was a “duh!” moment. How did I not see “detest” in “detestation”??

In any event, here’s a list of a few of my detestations:

  • Liver and onions
  • Gummy fruity candy that gets stuck in my teeth
  • Spiders in the house
  • Wet socks
  • Avocados

That doesn’t compare much with a few detestations from God’s list:

  • Idols (Ezekiel 11:21)
  • Fortune-telling (Deuteronomy 18:10)
  • Sorcery (Deut. 18:10)
  • Witchcraft (Deut. 18:10)
  • Pride (Proverbs 6:16-17)

My list of detestations involves my personal comfort, while God’s list addresses behaviors and attitudes that are morally wrong.

Do we detest those things as much as we detest the silly things that taste bad or scare us or feel icky?? How deep does our dislike go for the sins in our own hearts and lives? Do we detest them, or simply feel slightly bad about them?

Just a thought to ponder on this last Wednesday of November.

Now it’s your turn! What are a few of your detestations?

Check out Wednesday Words to find out about my vocabulary expansion project, and join along!

Write a post using the word “detestation,” then put a link to your post in the comments below. I’d love to read your thoughts!

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