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Posts Tagged ‘exhort’


KJV and NKJV Scripture

– For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know – not a cloak of covetousness.  God is witness. – 1 Thessalonians 2:5

– For I know not to give flattering titles.  In doing so, my Maker would soon take me away. – Job 32:22

Flattery is the handing out of insincere praise and compliments.  It is often excessive – and frequently spoken or written to further one’s own interests.  If present, it can appear as if one person is falling all over another with lots of effusive words like “Wow!” – or “That’s incredible!” – or “You’re simply amazing!”.

One-time usage of such can certainly help uplift and encourage another person who has been down for a while.  However, if this gushy and demonstrative talk becomes a regular practice – something a little more serious and ungodly is taking place.  We are trying to hide such sinful things as covetousness (lead verse).

God tells us we should certainly exhort each other daily, lest we be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13).  Flattery is a sin.  It is one person showing partiality or playing favorites with somebody else … even among family, friends, or members of a faith (1 Timothy 5:21, James 2:1-4).

It is a fake and feigned attempt to obtain or maintain worldly admiration or advantage.  Sometimes, it is speaking great swelling words, telling other people how swell they are in order to accomplish this (Jude 1:16).  However, he who speaks flattery to his friends – even the eyes of his children – shall fall (Job 17:5).

Flattery is very dangerous because it can be spoken within churches (Ezekiel 12:24) – and/or directed at God.  It is the sign of a having a double-heart or mind – and it’s a mark of spiritual instability (Psalm 12:2, James 1:8).  It points to a heart not purified (James 4:8).  Flattering mouths work ruin (Proverbs 26:28).

When the Israelites were led through the wilderness, they kept sinning and did not believe God for all His works.  After He slew some – the rest returned to seek their Rock early each day.  It did not last.  They went right back to flattering God with their mouths – lying to Him with their tongues (Psalm 78:32-36).

Paul carefully avoided giving appearances of playing favorites or falling all over people with flattery.  God placed trust in him to speak words becoming sound doctrine (1 Thessalonians 2:4, Titus 2:1).  So it would never seem as if Paul was flapping his gums in any semblance of flattery just to sound good or godly.

God is long-suffering towards all of us.  Not willing that any should perish, but to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).  Practicing flattery is not the truth.  It is not repenting as commanded (Acts 17:30).  Every Christian should know better not to speak with proud or flattering lips God promises to cut off (Psalm 12:3).

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord has given me to edification, and not to destruction. – 2 Corinthians 13:10

It can often seem like any attempt to edify each other in love as Christians today – has fallen into the catch-all category of judging.  Even offering up a spiritual opinion can be met with such a call.  Thus, anyone’s sin open beforehand to others, can be a difficult matter to be brought up among believers.  Despite such sin preceding judgement – fear of being called judgemental can keep many silent (1 Timothy 5:24).

Maybe the human race has finally reached the point prophesied by God in His Word – where iniquity is abounding so much in the world – edifying Christian love has gradually grown stone cold (Matthew 24:12). Because we will just get a cold shoulder and stony stare from another if we speak edifying words.  We might get a “You’re just judging me” response.  Or, “You do the same, so stop telling me what to do.”

Edifying means building someone up spiritually or morally – or both.  It is where we get our word edifice.  An edifice is large and imposing building.  It can also refer to a complex system of concepts or beliefs.  Edification is not exhorting.  Exhorting means to encourage and lift up the spirits of others daily, so hearts do not become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Exodus 9:34, Hebrews 3:13).

We are God’s building as Christians (1 Corinthians 3:9).  Edification means we might have to lift up an entire Christian life completely up off its initial foundation.  If we should find it was built upon the wrong one from the beginning (Romans 15:20, 1 Corinthians 3:11), it is going to have to be completely torn down.  Then it has to be rebuilt the right way, according to God’s instructions (Proverbs 8:33).

This is when edifying gets tough, trying, and time-consuming.  The longer we build anything the wrong way in life – it is only a mere matter of time before something collapses to where the wreckage and ruin is great.  The same goes in building anything with God (Psalm 127:1, Luke 6:48-49).  Therefore, finding out one has built a Christian life upon the wrong foundation for a very long time, can be sobering.

Any “so be it” attitude at this point is dangerous to our soul.  Although we may know something has been wrong in our spiritual walk with God for years. we never fully calculated construction costs from the start (Luke 14:28).  Still, we let it be – and keep on building some other way than His.  Even though we run the risk of being called a robber by Jesus, being eternally rejected at the door to heaven (John 10:1).

 

 

 

 

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