This week, Proverbs 12:16 grabbed my attention for all it was worth.
In the twenty years since becoming a Christ-follower, I’ve heard many excuses as to why a person would never return to church. A few of my “favorites” include:
- “I can worship at home just as well as I can at church.”
- “It’s a breeding ground for hypocrites.”
- “The pastor is boring.”(I haven’t heard this one since joining FBC!)
But the one excuse I hear most? “Someone hurt my feelings!” Perhaps that’s why verse 16 immediately quickened in my spirit. It’s one excuse that rattles my cage. With all the love of Christ I can muster, I want to grab hold of the person and ask them when it has ever been about them? Christ followers should have the thickest skin around!
Ephesians 6 reminds us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood (hypocrites included!), but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. When we give in to the “me, me, me” pity parties (please don’t send me an invitation to yours and I’ll spare you one to mine!), we are doing exactly as the enemy desires us to do — we are turning the attention towards ourselves and away from the very One we come together to worship.
It’s no coincidence that the verses on the full armor of God immediately follow those above in Ephesians 6. When we put on (it’s a choice!) the full armor of God, insults cannot penetrate our heart, mind, and especially our faith.
We’ve all heard the old adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
To this I say — a Proverb a day keeps the devil away.