WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 28, 2022
TOPIC: FAMILIARITY BREEDS CONTEMPT
BY T. O. BANSO
“Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” (Matthew 13:55-56 New King James Version).
It is often said that familiarity breeds contempt. In other words, there is a tendency to stop respecting someone or something when you know the person or the thing very well. Therefore, you must be careful that this is not the case with you. You must beware of familiarity with God and man that will make you have contempt for them.
Many people, including Christians, are guilty of contempt for God and fellow humans. Some people are so familiar with God that the fear or reverence they used to have for Him is no longer there. They no longer reverence God or tremble before Him as they did when they first became Christians. Some people now relate to God as if He is their colleague. This is an error. Indeed, God is a loving Father but He is also a consuming fire (Exodus 24:17; Deuteronomy 4:24; 9:3; Hebrews 12:29).
Psalm 96:9 says, “Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth” (New King James Version). The writer of Psalm 99 also says, “The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; Let the earth be moved!” (Verse 1 New King James Version). Similarly, Psalm 114:7 says, “Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob” (New King James Version). Don’t become so familiar with God that you don’t tremble before Him or give Him the honour that is due to Him. Be careful.
Because some people have heard the Word of God repeatedly, they are no longer moved by it. You can talk about heaven or hell; it doesn’t move them. Talk about judgment and reward; they are indifferent. Sometimes some non-believers are soberer or are more moved by the Word of God than some people who profess to be Christians. Although the non-believers may not yet have decided for Jesus, one could say, to borrow the words of Jesus, that they are not far from the kingdom of God (Mark 12:34).
Sometimes one wonders whether some Christians still believe hell is real. This is because of their attitude. They have become so familiar with the Word of God about heaven and hell that they seem not to bother. They have listened to so many messages that they appear unconcerned about heaven or hell. But no matter anyone’s nonchalant attitude, heaven is real and hell is real.
Are you so familiar with God and His Word that you now dishonour or disrespect Him? Are you so familiar with the Word of God your Pastor preaches that you have developed a wrong attitude toward it? Old members are more guilty of this than new members. Their attitude is “We have heard this before” or “What new thing is he going to say?” Some members become so familiar with their Pastors that they can’t receive from them again either the Word of God or godly counsel. Some of them even accuse their Pastors of referring to them in their sermons or making them the subjects of their sermons even when they don’t mention their names or make an indirect reference to them. Some church members honour guest ministers but treat their Pastors with contempt because he is always with them, labouring over them. These are wrong attitudes.
Paul said, “Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you” (1 Thessalonians 5:12 New International Version). He also wrote to Timothy, “Pastors who do their work well should be paid well and should be highly appreciated, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching” (1 Timothy 5:17 The Living Bible).
Someone sent a prayer request to me. But I asked myself if he had responded to all the prayers I posted previously. No, he didn’t reply with “Amen” yet he wanted a special prayer from me. This is how some people become so familiar with the things of God that they treat them with levity or dishonour. When a Pastor prays for them, they don’t respond with Amen. I always joke that if a Pastor releases a curse on them, the same people will complain everywhere that the Pastor is cursing them! Any servant of God that you become familiar with and have contempt for cannot be a blessing to you. Beware!
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, the people of Nazareth, His hometown, were guilty of familiarity with Him, which led to contempt for Him. Matthew 13:54 says that when Jesus had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue. They were astonished and asked where He got His wisdom and miraculous power.
They said, “Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” (Matthew 13:55-56 New King James Version). These words show that they were guilty of contempt for Jesus because they were familiar with Him. They were relating with Him as a human being, which He was, but they didn’t relate with Him as God, which He also was.
These people took offence at Jesus. But what was Jesus’ response? He said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house” (Matthew 13:57 b New King James Version). Note what the next verse says: “Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief” (verse 58 New King James Version). These people robbed themselves of what they should have enjoyed if they had related with Jesus properly. But they started telling stories that showed familiarity with Jesus and contempt for Him.
Mark 6:2-6 records the same incident. Verses 5-6 say, “Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching” (New King James Version).
Beware! Don’t be guilty of familiarity with God and fellow human beings that makes you disrespect them. Maybe you used to thank God and people for some things before, but because you have gotten used to them, you no longer thank them. Are you waiting for when you no longer enjoy these things you have taken for granted before you begin to appreciate them and thank God and those God is using for you? That’s not wise. Beware of familiarity that breeds contempt. Don’t wait until you lose someone or something before you appreciate or value the person or thing.
Repent today. Reverence God. Honour Him. Worship Him. Continually thank Him for what He has done for you. Don’t get so used to God’s mercies and kindness that you take them for granted. Also, don’t be familiar with anyone, including your spouse, Pastor, and boss. Appreciate everyone and what they do for you. Don’t tell me you appreciate them; tell them and show them you do.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I confess my sin of familiarity that has led to contempt for You, Your Word, and Your servants. Forgive me, Father. Forgive me also for the people I have become familiar with and have contempt for. Holy Spirit, help me to reverence God and honour Him as I should. Deliver me from familiarity that breeds contempt for God, His Word, His servants, and others.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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