11 December 2008

Woe Unto Me – 12.11.08

Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

In keeping with the biblical command to confess your faults one to another (James 5:16), I must admit that this is an area in which I struggle. I am easily tempted NOT to do what is good or necessary or even right if I know it is going to make somebody upset or ruffle some feathers – especially if it's somebody I really care about. That's just the way I'm predisposed. That's just something I have to fight against.

And this verse speaks to that situation very clearly. I guess that most (probably not all) of us would desire for all men to speak well of us. I am definitely inclined that way. But according to Jesus Christ if ALL MEN speak well of you, then something's wrong.

Because all men are sinners (Romans 3:23) and because the whole world lieth in wickedness (1 John 5:19), there are going to be times when you and I will have a choice to make between making someone upset by doing what is right or keeping them appeased by failing to take proper action. And it might not be a lost person. It might be a saved person. It might not be a heathen. It might be a church member. It might not be a stranger. It might be somebody very close to you.

But what I have to realize and what you have to realize is this: a failure to take proper action though it might upset that person right now is not in that person's best interest, but in our own supposed best interest.

Let's take an example. Say that somebody I know and love is involved in some sin, and I know about it. I have firsthand knowledge of what they're involved in. It is evident that the right course of action would be to confront them about it. But I don't do it, and my excuse to myself is that I don't want to make them mad. The truth of the matter is my failure to do what's right would be rooted by the fact that I don't want to make them mad AT ME. I might justify myself by saying it would hurt them to be mad, but if they're involved in sin, they're hurting themselves, and my keeping my mouth shut is just going to hurt them more in the long run.

Obviously, this desire to have all men speak well of you is a self-centered one, and that's about as far away from Christ-likeness as you can get.

So be instructed and be exhorted as I admonish myself. Do right, before God, no matter what anybody else thinks or feels or says about it.


  1. You're right, brother. I'm in the same boat with you. I'd rather keep my flesh comfortable than risk the anger of the ones I care about by pointing out a sin. I ask them to do the same for me, and I know some of my sins are overlooked in the name of not angering me. It's something I won't miss when we've all been perfected.

  2. "Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." - Proverbs 27:5-6KJV (I think that is what you were requesting, though I'm not sure what the Authorized Version is, but I'm hoping I got it right. Let me know if it's something different.) John MacArthur points out in those verses in Proverbs that even an enemy who will rebuke someone who needs it has done better than a friend who loves and won't say anything. Ouch! I'm certainly grateful for my Dad who has confronted me on a lot of difficult spiritual matters throughout my life. I'm glad I found this blog; it is really encouraging to me to read the Scriptures and teaching in it. Thank you!

  3. thanks for putting up blog today. I can honestly say that I do not have to worry about making them mad, they are already mad at me. I have been going to a church for a lot of years and I can honestly say that 9 out of ten are not glad to see me there for services. I can tell you that I have told myself and family that I am not going back there, but I am still there. It is very lonely there indeed!!!

  4. Please don't get me wrong. There is a ditch on both sides of the road here. Having 9 out of 10 saved people at your church sorry that you show up for services is definitely not a mark of spirituality. Read through the book of 1 John and realize that God expects us to show love and grace toward our imperfect brethren - just like He's shown love and grace toward imperfect US!

    I know nothing of your church situation, but allow me to share this bit of wisdom from our pastor. If there is no good, solid church in your area:

    1. Find the best church available, stay and be a blessing
    2. Relocate to a place where there is a good, solid church, and be a blessing
    3. Start your own and get on the receiving end of some of the criticism that's so easy to give out

    Hope this is a blessing.