Thou Shalt Not…Wink?

It’s a verse that stumps me every time I read it. “He that winks with the eye causes sorrow…” Really? It’s bad to wink?

This verse has constantly brought uneasiness whenever I’d wink at my husband or kids. Uh-oh, am I causing sorrow?

I looked it up once and saw that particular use of wink means “wince,” not the 😉  kind of wink.

Still, that didn’t answer my question. Why does wincing cause sorrow?

It wasn’t until this evening that another verse randomly slapped the missing piece in place. “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent…”

That’s when it hit me.

Winking means pretending you don’t see.

So when did this deep theological discussion overtake my mental processes in there among thoughts of phonics, peanut butter sandwiches, the Battle of Trafalgar, and runny noses?


I was checking notifications on Facebook real quick (wink, wink 😉 ), when a filthy game logo on the side made me wince. I looked away really quick, and the above verse popped into my head. “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.”

And I realized, winking gets old. There’s a time to wink at ignorance, like when your three-year-old tries out a word he’s heard but doesn’t understand all it means. Winking can’t last forever, though. Winking at sin means that sorrow is coming, because sin brings sorrow.

Ask the Columbine murderers’ parents who didn’t want to watch what their boys were plotting in the basement. That could be me if I get too comfortable just looking the other way. Winking.

Sin needs to be nipped in the bud.

Jesus died for our sin. All the sins of the world. That means that He didn’t wink at the sin, but He faced it head on, took the blame and shame for it, and then paid for it.

I hate sin. Especially other people’s sin.

That said, sometimes it’s comfortable to want God to wink at my ignorance. I’d like Him to stop all the world’s abortions, hatred, and racism, but what about my sins that are hard to face?

Do I want God to wink at my sin of winking/pretending not to notice filthy Facebook posts? Or do I want Him to deal with it so I don’t have to jump when a little one looks over my shoulder at the screen?

Do I want to wink at my sin of [fill-in-the-blank-with-a-long-list], or do I want to repent?

I’ve caused enough sorrow. I’m glad that the days of God winking at human ignorance are over. I’m glad that now He’s commanded all of us everywhere to repent. I want the sorrow of the world to end.

“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

“Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”

I am so thankful God’s mercy endures for ever.

I don’t want to be a winking Christian, walking through life with my eyes half shut.

I’m so sick of seeing people headed for destruction and just wincing in response. It’s so much more cozy to look away and check my notifications, sigh and sip my iced French press mint coffee and imagine all the world is roses.

But it’s not.

  • There are girls running away tonight, headed for a life of trafficking, because they haven’t been told there’s a better way.
  • There are people stuck in a cycle of pain over something as insignificant as skin tone, all because those who can show God’s love, don’t.
  • There are people afraid to die, who have never once been told the promise that “he that believeth on the Son of God hath everlasting life, and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

Helen Keller said, “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”

I’m the type who sees all that needs doing and shuts down. May God give me – and you – grace to do the good we can.

Cheers for Jesus, who makes it all possible!

How have you learned to stop looking the other way? This was a hard post to write, and I’d love to hear your take. Thanks!


9 thoughts on “Thou Shalt Not…Wink?

  1. Happy Saturday, Honey! Thank you for writing this! I love you! Thank you also for writing and publishing that beautiful book, A Letter to Lilly. 🎶😘

    Love and prayers for you and your family, Mama


  2. In little ways that may just look like a drop in the bucket – hugging my kids, volunteering in the classroom and loving on kids that may not get much at home, walking across the street and out of my comfort zone to talk to a lonely neighbor, writing a letter to my sponsored kid, telling people I love them even when they suspect my motives (that hurts but who says it has to be easy). I love the quote you shared. If we all gave our drops in the bucket, that would be a lot of drops in the bucket. 🙂


  3. I love this post Rebekah! I don’t remembering reading the winking verse … would like to know where it’s found. I so agree with your plea to not to look the other way … praying with you to have the courage to do what God calls us to do in 2017! Blessings my friend!


  4. Hi, Rebekah. Fantastic blog! 🙂 Thanks for answering the question about what winking really means. I’ve pondered this for years. For me, it’s certain ads on television or thoughts that need to be taken captive before they carry me away and become sin. Exceeding joy to you and yours in 2017! ❤


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