Afraid to offend.
We have our reasons for being quiet. Sensitive to the feelings of others, or protecting our own, our words are chosen with care. Evil behaviors get new names, acceptable ones. Words are given watered down meanings. “Fear” becomes “reverence” and so much easier to hear. It is best not to offend, it only costs the truth. And that is polite’s problem, it denies the truth.
Humility and the fear of the Lord.
There is a reward if we possess these two qualities. Proverbs 22:4 tells us they are “riches, honor and life.” Humility comes with understanding, we have so little at first. The Superman in all of us must first recognize the foolishness of our own wisdom and strength.
The beginning of true wisdom is the fear of the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7; Psalm 111:10) How can we understand what it rightly means to “fear the Lord?”
The Book of Proverbs holds the answer.
Talk about contrasts! Proverbs is clearly black and white. The wise and the foolish. The saved and the lost. I know that Christ has saved those the Father has given Him. Proverbs was given so that we might understand the fear of the Lord.
“My son, if you will receive my words And treasure my commandments within you, Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the LORD And discover the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones.” (Proverbs 2:1-8)
The benefits of reading Proverbs outweigh those things that we might not want to hear. Remember that it is acknowledging God’s word that brings forgiveness and cleansing. Besides, it’s getting late and I am reminded of a prophet’s word that has not yet come to pass.
“Before the decree takes effect – The day passes like chaff – Before the burning anger of the LORD comes upon you, Before the day of the LORD’S anger comes upon you. Seek the LORD, All you humble of the earth Who have carried out His justice; Seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden In the day of the LORD’S anger.” (Zephaniah 2: 2-3)
Now is not the time to be polite at the expense of truth. We have been given more understanding than was given to Zephaniah. We know that all who come to Christ will be hidden in Him. May God grant us the boldness to speak freely. Others need to hear.