Summary: Shimea suffered from a spiritual illness that plagues many Christians. How did it reveal itself and how can we be healed?s
THE DEAD DOG SYNDROME 9/98
ILLUSTRATION: There’s a story about a crazy old woman who was known to be crazy because she would walk down the streets talking to herself. One of her best known pastimes was talk to Jesus... and Jesus would talk back. One day a new preacher came to town and thought that perhaps he might be able to cure her of this odd activity. So one day, he spied her on the street and went over to talk to her:
"I hear that you often talk to Jesus?" he remarked.
"Oh yes," she replied. "Jesus and I often have long talks together."
"Would you do me favor?" he inquired. "The next time you talk to Jesus, could you ask him what the last sin I confessed to Him was?"
She agreed, and the next day as he was walking down the sidewalk, he saw here again and went to her.
"Did you ask Jesus the question?" he asked.
"Oh yes," she exclaimed. "Jesus and I talked about it for a long time."
"Oh." he said thoughtfully. "Well, what did He say my last confessed sin was?"
"He said He didn’t remember."
Romans 8:1 - It’s a great comfort that Jesus doesn’t remember our past. As we go over this text this morning, keep that in mind.
Now, I have a little quiz for you: Tell me what personality trait comes into your mind when you hear these names:
· Thomas (Doubt),
· Jezebel (adultery),
· Judas (betrayal),
Shimei? Yes Shimei - when you leave this worship service, I would like you to remember his name and what trait should be identified with him. Shimei suffered from a spiritual illness that unfortunately strikes both Christian and non-Christian alike and can destroy the very spiritual fiber of the strongest man of faith...
Shimei suffered from DEAD DOG SYNDROME.
Tell story of David’s struggle with Saul, his refusal to touch the Lord’s anointed, and how Saul took his own life; then lead briefly up to Absalom’s rebellion & follow by reading 2 Sam.16:5-14
What would cause Shimei to behave like such a jerk?
His Dead Dog syndrome.
What is this disease?
It is a critical spirit.
What are the symptoms of the disease?
The desire to Spit Out, Strike Out, and Tear Down.
DO YOU HAVE THAT CRITICAL SPIRIT?
Do you ever write (or want to write) a Letter to the Editor. I have. It wasn’t a very nice letter either. And of course… there are letters I haven’t written.
Have you ever gone to Ball Games and told the referees what you thought of their calls?
If so, it’s possible you suffer from this disease.
There’s another characteristic of this disease that’s noted in II Samuel 19:16. Notice that Shimei came down with 1000 other Benjamites. The critical spirit needs others ears to hear its complaints.
By contrast, take note of how David handles this situation. He had reason to be infected with this disease. Stripped of his security, rejected by his people, no longer the young man capable of handling life on the run he used to be... this is his darkest hour.
And now - to have some sordid, mean spirited, insignificant excuse for a man throwing dirt and rocks at him - must have been the end all.
I know how it is with me. You catch me in a day when everything is going wrong, I’m tired… a little grouchy… and then someone says just the wrong thing... I might be inclined to take his head off too.
I understand Abishai. "Here Abishai, use my sword, but don’t kill him ...too quickly."
HOW DID DAVID PROTECT HIMSELF AGAINST THE DEAD DOG SYNDROME?
And how do we heal ourselves of this disease?
1st, David REMEMBERED his sin (II Sam. 16:11-12) with Bathsheba. The key to a humble, uncritical spirit is to remember that you’ve sinned too.
Jesus told a parable about this in the Gospels. He told of a Pharisee and a Tax Collector who happened to be worshipping in the Temple. The Pharisee could only see the sinfulness of the man beside him. The Tax Collector could only see his own sin. Who had the critical spirit? The Pharisee.
Then there was the incident of the woman who was brought before Jesus in the Gospel of John. The crowd was self righteous and critical (not to mention hypocritical) and sought the death of the woman. How did Jesus diffuse their critical spirit? He wrote something in the dirt and then said "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."
In I John 1:8-9 "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."