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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Striking Absence of Many Honeyed Words

Do you find a lot of "humility" rings falsely? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 1176).

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. ... Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Mark 10:18 & 21).

An equally valid question: "Do you find a lot of "praise" rings falsely?" The perfect storm of hypocrisy is when both "praise" and "humility" ring false.   There's a saying that "birds of a feather flock together."  There can be pressures within the Christian flock to deny self to such a degree that modesty becomes artificial and simple honesty is betrayed by phoniness.  There is no need to stand like a deer in the headlights when offered a modest and realistic compliment. I would like to show an instance of this receptive grace by citing a scene in which Jesus responded to such a measured compliment--trouble is, I can't find any, except perhaps for a centurion. (Surely preachers who face a barrage of compliments following a sermon could wish that the Bible recorded lavish praise given after the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus's model response.) Maybe the absence of abundant compliments flowing to Jesus in Scripture suggests that we should encourage one another by support and faithfulness rather than many honeyed words. 

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