by Brook Phelps
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“For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5.)
I recently heard an unbeliever say that though believers are told to give God’s word, having someone constantly speak what the bible says gets annoying and sounds patronizing. This statement (obviously) got me thinking. Why would someone feel irritated or disgraced by hearing scripture? And what causes unbelievers and believers who have not received a new heart, alike, to feel defensive by hearing the gospel? What is the difference between someone who will patiently and kindly talk to another about faith commitment (Godly) verses someone who just wants each person to have their own “personal” beliefs and/or relationship with God and not be inconvenienced about it (worldly)?
After much contemplation the answer that seemed the most likely finally came to mind…pride. That which is worldly, being self-importance, verses that which is Godly, being selflessness. Here is a small example about which I am talking…there is a pastor I know who was seated on a plane next to an attractive young woman. The woman made small talk with the pastor and bragged about her worldly lifestyle. When she asked the pastor what he did for a living and found him to be a pastor she became extremely defensive and began verbally attacking him. All this without even truly knowing him or his heart…only who he serves.
"Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, 12 lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, 13 and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, 15 who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock, 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. 17 Beware lest you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.'" (Deuteronomy 8:11–17. ESV.)
"Thus says the LORD: Even so will I spoil the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing." (Jeremiah 13:9–10. ESV.)
"Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble." (Daniel 4:37. ESV.)
"When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes." (Isaiah 10:12. ESV.)
"On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22 And the people were shouting, 'The voice of a god, and not of a man!' 23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last." (Acts 12:21–23. ESV.)
"In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, 'There is no God.'" (Psalm 10:4. ESV.)
"A greedy man stirs up strife,but the one who trusts in the LORD will be enriched." (Proverbs 28:25. ESV.)
"'I, I am he who comforts you; who are you that you are afraid of man who dies,of the son of man who is made like grass, 13 and have forgotten the LORD, your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth,
and you fear continually all the day because of the wrath of the oppressor, when he sets himself to destroy? And where is the wrath of the oppressor?'" (Isaiah 51:12–13. ESV.)
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6–7. NKJV.)
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16. NKJV.)
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