Summary: We humans and yes, we believers, are not all good or bad, black or white. We exist on a spectrum; at one end is Christlikeness, graciousness, truth, love. On the other end is self-centeredness, withholding of grace, compromised truth, and control.
The Graciousness Spectrum
(Proverbs 22:8, 10-12)
1. Do you make fewer phone calls than you used to?
2. According to UPI, “…making phone calls is the sixth most common use of a cellphone, with first being sending text messages and second being receiving texts.
Reading personal emails was third on the list, followed by surfing the Internet and using the alarm clock function.
Following making phone calls at No. 6 were sending personal emails, checking the time, using the calculator and checking Facebook.
"The functions on a smartphone have developed and improved drastically over the past decade," said Tom Barr, chief executive officer of Hailo. "With so many ways to keep in touch nowadays, people in the U.K. are using the functions that are convenient for them. As we get less and less time to ourselves, we need more convenience in our lives and less hassle. While calling can be more personal, it doesn't always save you time."
3. Why is this? The line is busy and you forget to call back, no one is at home, or you find out that you are calling at a bad time. You can text someone on the spot without having to worry about forgetting. You can text them at 2AM if you want.
4. Another reason is that sometimes you cannot get people off the line. Some people like to “hang” while on the phone.. We all our defects because none of us has it completely together
Main Idea: We humans and yes, we believers, are not all good or bad, black or white. We exist on a spectrum; at one end is Christlikeness, graciousness, truth, love. On the other end is self-centeredness, withholding of grace, compromised truth, and control.
I. UNPLEASANT People Discover Not-So-Pleasant Consequences (8, 10, 12b)
"Damaged people sometimes become influential and lead the rest of us into an unbalanced over-correction for whatever wrong they have suffered. We are their therapy, but also their victims." (EJV)
A. We tend to think about JUDGMENT Day, but even in this life we often see consequences
B. People who do not attempt to be FAIR provoke calamity (8a)
1. Injustice is not caring about truth, righteousness, fairness — it is partiality — truth is what you make it
2. The harvest is according to the seeds
3. Friends said that they bought seeds locally, but what they reaped was not on the picture…you get what you sow, not what you think you will get
C. Someday HOT HEADS will be humiliated as their anger discredits them (8b)
Diotrephes was like this. In 3 John 1:9-10 we read:
“I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.”
Moses under fire from Miriam and Aaron — leprosy
D. When UNHAPPY campers depart, we enjoy the peace (10)
There are several different Hebrew words used to describe a variety of fools in Proverbs, including the simple, the fool, and the sluggard. But here, the Hebrew word for “scoffer” or “mocker” is used. Derek Kidner comments: “…mental attitude, not mental capacity, classifies this man…The mischief he does is not the random mischief of the ordinary fool, but the deeper damage of the ‘debunker’ and deliberate trouble-maker…He impresses the impressionable, as long as he is allowed his way…” (Proverbs, p. 39).
• The LXX translation comes into English as a “pestilent person.”
• They think they have a just cause and are stirring people up with the truth
• Such persons need to be driven out before their attitude becomes contagious
• When Pastor Rob Vance was here and asked to fill pulpit in another church, a man said aloud during SS, “I don’t like his teaching…I’m leaving…” This man did this habitually and allowed to get away with it; because of things like that, the church died as newcomers were driven away.
E. TRAITORS irritate even God (12b)
• A traitor is usually an insincere person, like Judas, or one bent on revenge, like Ahithophel, Bathsheba’s grandfather and Solomon’s great-grandfather
• We live in a day when many are betraying the faith, and issues like hell, gay marriage, and the foreknowledge of God serves to be the black and white issues that divides between those who get their morality from the Bible and those who get it from the world.
• May the Lord find us faithful, the opposite of being a traitor
F. Application: Those who bring misery are often the most MISERABLE
Some people enjoy disturbing others, turning the tables on others, or being crusaders for their particular obsession. But make no doubt about it — they pay for it, often in this life. Sadly, others pay as well.