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By Mary Lindow

This message just"might" hit close to home.  

I have been thinking a lot this week about arrogance and those finger pointing individuals who enjoy belittling others and simply love to be plain old snarky. Just look at the headlines of newspapers, Internet news and gossip columns! With the stroke of a key or two, words written imply things that can break hearts, ruin trust, hope, National Security and relationships.

THERE IS SUCH A HARSH STING TO THE HEART  

WHEN THE CRUEL WORDS OF SOMEONE ELSE INTENTIONALLY 

DOES A VERBAL SLAP DOWN OR SHAMES YOU.

Usually it occurs when THEY believe that THEY are absolutely right or have "superior" knowledge, and that others are the "lesser" and are the "wrong- big- dummies".

This mean and sour arrogance, which uses power to belittle or harm others, is something that crushes and cripples hearts and dreams. It's a secret and deep seething storm inside of the soul of those who feel they have rights and superior thinking that justifies weaponizing words. Yes... Weaponizing! 

Words can deliver pinpoint missiles of pain, threats, ridicule, humiliation, subtle undertones of condescension but can also deliver payloads of healing, warmth, gratitude, encouragement, and above all, Hope.

As a believer, our faith should not be arrogant, nor should a person of faith belittle others! We should never use our faith or intelligence to pretend that we are superior or more informed than others! NO! NEVER!

Belittling is a form of bullying! It's when someone makes you feel as though you are little, minuscule, not good enough.

Proverbs 11:17 says,"Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel".

Arrogance is the opposite of humility, and humility is supposed to be a Christian virtue.  Jesus Christ who, in coming into the world and living and dying alongside of us, lived out what humility is.

You will never reach the place of honor or full use by the Heavenly Father, (and can actually be disqualified from many opportunities) until your insecurities and need to needle, belittle, compete with, or shame others is addressed, repented of and buried! And, when mentioning, reaching a place of honor I'm referring to this as honor before the face and rule of God.

If your goals in life are to have men honor you first...

...You will be one who certainly tramples others with your words.

 

Those who have the sickness of pride in their hearts, speak of others weakness and sins with contempt, irritation, frustration, or judgment. Pride is crouching inside of your meanness and belittling of the struggles of others.

It's cowering in your jokes about the "craziness" of your spouse, the mocking of that "too sensitive friend". It may even be lurking in the prayers we throw upward for our friends that are "subtly or not" often tinted with the color of exasperated irritation.

Listen to Proverbs 15:4 from The Message translation.

"Kind words heal and help;

Cutting words wound and maim."

 

Sometimes, we use sarcasm to voice harsh, or cutting words we otherwise would not say, often intentionally hurting others. Once the pain is inflicted however, we retreat, saying, "Oh, I was just kidding!"  But the sting of those words hurts so much that those we have injured, withdraw.

Our words don't feel like jokes at all.

Jesus' words should be a warning to those of us who are tempted to use sarcasm as a weapon:

"But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken". -Matthew 12:36

 

SARCASTIC REMARKS USUALLY SEEM LIKE NO BIG DEAL  

TO THE PERSON WHO MAKES THEM. 

BUT TO THE RECIPIENT, THOSE WORDS MAKE LASTING IMPRESSIONS

THAT SCAR TO THE VERY CORE OF THE HEART.

 

Many times, sarcasm shames a person, causing them to feel belittled and unworthy. When shame takes root in the heart, it can cause disastrous behavior, because the person now feels worthless and seeks desperately to find anything that will make them feel otherwise.

Shaming others is a serious offense with serious consequences. 

Jesus said, "Your very words will be used as evidence against you,

and your words will declare you either innocent or guilty." 

 -Matthew 12:37

 

Are your words kind and constructive? 

Do they desire to seek peace and unity, or are they driven by your fleshy desire to sting, aggravate, retaliate, tease, belittle, control, alienate, shame and manipulate through sarcasm? YES ... alllll of those HURT PEOPLE!

The enemy is camping out at the gate of your every relationship. Children, spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, parents, co-laborers and more. He is lurking around every corner, seeking to find that one open crevice where he can enter. If he has been entering in and camping out in your home or relationships through the use of sarcasm, it's time to boot this verbal enemy out and lock the gate behind him.

Die to your need to be snarky and always the one with a chirpy sarcastic comeback! Allow Christ to show you His ways that love, peace and compassion can be the source of every word that proceeds from your mouth.

"All of you, clothe yourselves with humility towards one another,

because, 'God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.

Humble yourself then! Bow low under God's mighty hand,

that he may use you to the fullest at the proper time.

-1 Peter 5:56

 

Prayer of Brokenness and Confession

(I Highly recommend praying this out loud.) 

Holy and All seeing Father God,

I confess now to You, that I do not always love my neighbor.

I confess that I have despised others, even to the point of hatred.

I confess that I have been hurt by others.

I confess that forgiveness and reconciliation at times are just impossible for us.

I realize that I have spoken words that have broken people or have humiliated them and although asking for forgiveness, they have distanced themselves from me, and rightly so because they don't want to take any more of my unkind words.

Father I ask you to heal them from the things that I have said that caused broken and crushed spirits. 

Restore them; bring them Friends that will treat them kindly.

I know that nothing is impossible in You.

So, I come to You, seeking healing and wholeness for myself.

Heal whatever is inside of me that needs to speak poorly of others, or to speak down to others.

Show me the parts of me that are insecure or needy. 

Help me, whenever possible, to live in peace with others, to seek reconciliation and healing and forgiveness.

For Your Son Jesus came and lived among us, and was betrayed and denied, abused and put to death.

Yet, He rose again, and came with the message of peace to those who had denied Him and abandoned Him. 

Oh Father! May I walk in His ways and model His kindness in my speech and actions.

I pray this in Jesus' loving name.

Amen.

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Mary Lindow

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"He has showed you, O man, what is good.

And what does the Lord require of you?

To do justly,

and to love kindness and mercy,

and to humble yourself

and walk humbly with your God."

(Micah 6:8)

ALTHOUGH I DO BELIEVE THAT THERE IS A FRESH EXPRESSION OF THE HEART OF THE FATHER STIRRING IN THE EARTH, I also see that there is a lot of "bashing" regularly occurring due to the abuse others have exhibited in their places of calling, aimed at those who have been true to what the Lord has asked them to do in His name, and this has caused not just a little sorrow.

WE MUST CLEARLY SEE THAT CORRUPTION CAN RAPIDLY OCCUR IN ANY PERSON OR ANY GROUP, ORGANIZED, RELAXED, OR OTHERWISE, when the tendency to think that they have arrived at a new or deeper revelation about something more so than others who perhaps express the Lord's voice differently.

ARROGANCE IS THE ASSUMPTION THAT I, INDIVIDUALLY, OR SOME GROUP THAT I AM A PART OF, COLLECTIVELY, IS SOMEHOW SUPERIOR TO SOMEONE ELSE OR SOME OTHER GROUP OF PEOPLE.

At the heart of arrogance is self-centeredness. And self-centeredness is the foundation of human sin. I believe any serious attempt at self-examination by an honest person will reveal that we humans are sinful and flawed beyond measure.

MARK TWAIN ONCE SAID,

“MAN IS THE ONLY ANIMAL THAT BLUSHES—

OR [FOR THAT MATTER] NEEDS TO.”

Paul writes, “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand…Wretched man that I am! Who will save me from this body of death?”

Self consumes us. And every time we arrogantly place our own needs before others we are enslaved by sin.

WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

HOW SHOULD WE LIVE INSTEAD OF IN THAT ARROGANT MODE?

How about the words of Jesus?

What did he say?

"Everyone who exalts himself (for example, "Aren't I great? Aren't I right? Don't I always have the best opinion?") will be humbled.

But he who humbles himself (for example, "This is my opinion but it may not be right. I don't have a corner on the market of truth.") will be exalted."

THE LORD IS NOT SPEEDING UP THE DELIVERY OF ANY "FRESH THING" IN THE EARTH IN ORDER TO GET US TO HIS PURPOSES QUICKLY.

No. He is testing the hearts of men and women everywhere, looking for humility, selflessness, and honor, for those who although not perfect, have also served and pointed the way to salvation for many years previously.

THE LORD IS NOT GOING TO HONOR THE INDIVIDUAL WHO SHOUTS THAT "CHANGE IS NEEDED" OR THAT "CHANGE IS COMING" AND THEN SLASHES AND BURNS ANYTHING THAT DOESN'T EMBRACE THEIR VERSION OF IT.

THE LORD IS INTERESTED IN THE SOUND OF HUMILITY, THE HAND OF MERCY, AND THE VOICE OF GRACE.

These key character issues attract the pure and simple Presence of the Lord. Blessed are the PURE in heart...for they shall see God.

Until the Body of Christ that has been through many difficult and Shattering events and rids it of bitter and venomous words against one another and accepts that each one like sheep have gone astray and turned to what pleased them at the moment, there will be little evidence of much harvest.

THE LOST AND CONFUSED WORLD OUT THERE WATCHES CHRISTIANS TEAR EACH OTHER TO SHREDS DAILY AND WONDERS WHY WE ARE ASKING THEM TO JOIN US!

Remember Christ’s two great commandments—love God with all your being and love your neighbor as yourself.

Self-centeredness is the reversal of the great commandment.

Self-centeredness means to place ourselves first, in effect proclaiming our own form of self-government (not needing or wanting the advice or insight of others), therefore our neighbors become an afterthought, and God becomes simply a convenience to be considered only when it’s helpful to us. It is evident even in our language that self-centeredness is woven into the fabric of the human experience.

THE ONE TRUE SACRIFICIAL MODEL TOLD US THAT HE WOULD SEND THE VERY SPIRIT OF GOD IN ORDER TO CONVICT ALL PEOPLE OF SIN, TO COMFORT, TO GUIDE, AND TO SET THEM FREE.

Indeed. The very evidence of a redemptive type of life is in one who washes the feet of his/her brothers and his/her enemies in an act of cleansing the dirt from the road of life off of the pathway to the Truth.

May we truly hear the sound of the unmistakable heartbeat of a redemptive model rising up in clear resounding purity, personal

transparency, and in the covering of the multitude of sins by speaking and meditating only on those things that are noble, just, pure, and of a good report.

AS INDIVIDUALS AND AS NATIONS, THE ANTIDOTE TO ARROGANCE AND SELF-CENTEREDNESS IS A HEAVY DOSE OF HUMILITY.

That is; a profound willingness to recognize the value and respect the dignity of every human life. And, furthermore, a humble heart calls us to seek and serve Christ in ALL persons by giving of ourselves willingly for the welfare of other people.

THE LORD SAYS,

"Do not let a wise man brag about how wise he is.

Do not let a strong man boast about how strong he is.

Do not let a rich person brag about how rich he is.

But here is what the one who brags should boast about.

He should brag that he has understanding and knows me.

I want him to know that I am the Lord.

No matter what I do on earth, I am always kind, fair and right.

And I take delight in that," announces the Lord.

JEREMIAH 9:23-24 (New International Reader's Version)

Duplication and sharing of this writing is welcomed
provided that complete source and website information for Mary Lindow is included. 
Thank You
Copyright © 2013 " THE MESSENGER " ~ Mary Lindow    
www.marylindow.com

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