The person who has haughty eyes has rebelliously inverted the Lord’s command to love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind and to love your neighbor as yourself.
First, let it be known that God hates; He hates sin and he hates sinners. And we ought not shy away from this truth for it is really only out of this reality that the Gospel explodes with such wonderful good news. The God who hates sinners also loves sinners and sent his only Son to die and take upon himself the hate-filled wrath we so deserve. God is simple and in the mystery of his infinite Being he sets his covenantal love upon an elect multitude who are worthy only of His good hate. And so when we read in Proverbs 6:16 that “there are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him” we should take seriously what it means for God to hate. The wise will take these words to heart. As Charles Bridges reminds us, “In his heart man thinks of God as being like himself and thus able to look at sin with indifference (Psalm 50:21).” Here in Proverbs 6, verse 16, we’re told that this is not so – the Lord detests our sin.
The first thing we’re told of which God hates are our haughty eyes. The literal rendering here could read “high eyes” or those who “lift up their pupils.” As Tim Keller remarks, “They don’t look people in the eye to understand and engage them as equals. They look past them…” This is describing the kind of person who is filled with pride, who thinks too highly of himself, and treats others as mere props and extras in his own blockbuster lifetime movie. Life revolves around self and every Instagram selfie shows it.
The person who has haughty eyes has rebelliously inverted the Lord’s command to love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind and to love your neighbor as yourself. In his pride he lifts up his nose and eyes to those around him as he looks down on others and he fails to love them or God because he is so consumed with his own interests. His love is of a selfish nature and he only interacts with others insofar as they are useful to his or her desired ends.