I met someone today who I haven’t seen for a few years. We chatted briefly in a carpark and I had to be careful not to mention several topics. There are some issues this chap won’t deal with and if you bring them up he sneers, curls his lip and the whole meeting goes sour.

I have met many people like that. They just can’t get past some issue of other that upset them. They may be upset at a minister who pushed through his plans for a new building, without the support of the congregation. They may be upset that their child wasn’t given an opportunity the parent thought the child deserved. They may be resentful of how something worked out to their disadvantage. The possibilities are endless.

Dead End

The problem for this chap and people like him is that the upset becomes a Dead End for them. It is a road-block to their progress and to getting on with life. Instead of letting the matter go, or forgiving the offender, or humbling themselves, or other productive responses, these people dig in and take offence.

From that moment on the issue is toxic to them. They can’t put it aside or resolve it, so it is like an open sore in their thinking. If someone is insensitive enough to bring up the offensive situation, person or issue the offence is immediately on the surface. The person curls their lip, adopts a sneering tone and reels off the little speech they reserve specially for the matter.

Very Important People

I like what someone once said in response to this sneering attitude that is adopted by some. They pointed out that those who sneer must be very important people. They must be incredibly privileged people indeed.

They are obviously important because they have the right to do what only God can do! They have the right to sit in judgement of others and to refuse to forgive or let the person have grace. That makes those people incredibly important people.

All the rest of us are under the fear of God and will be judged if we judge. We will have God deal with us the same way we deal with others. We will end up in a prison of our own making if we do not forgive.

But these VIP’s can get away with doing all the things we are forbidden to do.

Or Very Foolish People

The truth is that these sneerers are very foolish people. They are elevating their own pride to the point they reject God’s instructions and put themselves into a place of superiority and judgement.

Now we all have opinions about things. I am as inclined to think someone else has it wrong as anyone else. But it’s what we do with those ideas that is important. If we elevate our ideas and ourselves over others we err.

Very foolish people make room for their own importance, their own opinions, and their own self-will. Very foolish people forget that they too are made of mud. They forget that they too have had to be forgiven. They forget that they have done stupid, selfish, irresponsible things in their time.

Very foolish people have closed themselves off from God’s grace, by not offering it to others who need it too.

Change My Heart O God

I wonder if my heart is clean enough for God to use me to reach those who the world holds in contempt. Someone has to be able to get past the sneering, accusing, unforgiving attitudes that we all feel toward those who we deem worthy of contempt. What would God have to do in my heart to get me to the place where I could serve Him, meeting the needs of people I would otherwise despise?

I need God to change my heart and to deliver me from the fleshly urge to judge, sneer, punish, condemn and reject others. Maybe you need something like that in your heart too. But that’s none of my business (is it?).

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  1. Anonymous says

    Wow. I hate it when people feel the stupid need to curl their lip at me; even strangers! I don’t get offended easily, but one nasty sneer is all it takes for pure hatred. FINALLY a website that ‘understands’! I really think I’m a nice, caring person who is pretty shy. I don’t get WHY people curl their lip at me! I really hate it!

    Sorry, I had 4 random people sneer at me today :'(

  2. Chris Vandermaas says

    I remember a person “Bernie” who I had just met within a circle of friends. He was a cocky fellow and said “Wouldn’t it be funny if we could beat this game”. I didn’t know him and thought I’ll engage him in a friendly conversation and so I replied “Well there is a way ..” he made this sneer (this happened in 1988) and I quickly withdrew from completing my spin on how to beat this game. I never ever forgot and to this day have a deep hatred for this fellow because of his nasty sneer. What hurt the most was I was extending my friendship and trying to engage in an intelligent conversation .. his sneer threw all that in the crapper. Anyone have any thoughts to share in helping me get past my anger? Thanks!!

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