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Resisting the Pull of Dishonor

The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked,
But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous.
Though He scoffs at the scoffers,
Yet He gives grace to the afflicted.
The wise will inherit honor,
But fools display dishonor. –Proverbs 3:33-35

Nobody wants a curse, of course. We all want blessings, but pride short-circuits us and pushes us to act out in certain ways. One of those ways is scoffing.

For whatever reason, this part jumps out at me: He scoffs at the scoffers.

Those who mock God and His ways, who act and live out of pride and arrogance, will find themselves in the sad position of being scoffed at by the Almighty. Really though, what other choice is there? You deride and mock the wisdom of His word and the love He displays, you receive that back. Sow scoffing, reap scoffing.

God scoffing at me? I don’t think I want to sign up for that experience. I picture it not as we would make fun of someone or belittle someone, but much as Job encountered God. You get put in your place–efficiently and effectively.

Those who recognize their need will receive grace. The poor in spirit will get the kingdom of heaven just as the wise inherit honor. I looked up that word “inherit” in the Hebrew and it means just that, to acquire, to get as a possession, to possess.

The fool displays–or raises high, exalts– dishonor. What a statement! If you’re wise you will exalt honor: not only God, but others. In doing so, you’ll inherit honor yourself. The fool dishonors in order to elevate his own status, but in exalting dishonor, he receives no inheritance.

the-pullI think of all the scoffing and dishonor in Christian circles. The way that one guy on TV preaches or looks. The way those express worship or the moving of the Spirit. Even as I write it, I feel a strong sense of the fear of the Lord.

I believe you can disagree with someone theologically and not scoff, mock, or dishonor. I want to be careful what thoughts I entertain about people and certainly what comes out of my mouth. Dishonor tries to insert itself and it has a pull to it. It feels right, even justified at times; but I’m just not so sure I want to even go near there.

The last thing I need is God scoffing at me.

What are your thoughts? Have you felt the pull or maybe even peer pressure to scoff or dishonor? What helps you resist?

Another in a series of posts where I go through Proverbs a verse or two at a time and share the whispers of the Holy Spirit to my heart (click here for more verse by verse posts).


  1. I guess I have never really looked at this the way you have. I try to treat everyone with respect, but I reckon there have been times I may have crossed the line. I am seeing I can say what I need to say, get to the point of disagreement (if there is one), state it, then move on. is that what you are referring to? Calling out heresy or error without condescension?
    bill (cycleguy) recently posted..MEMy Profile

    • I certainly wasn’t calling out anyone really, just examining myself and noticing a trend at large. I think there are some easy targets out there for various reasons, and I may not have said as much publicly as I did privately. I want it all to be honor. Like you said, I can disagree theologically, state as much, and go on without tearing someone else down. I don’t want to present any hold for dishonor to lodge itself in me. Hoping this all makes sense. Thanks so much, Bill.

  2. Such a great reminder Jason…I know in my young, rebelling days I was very dishonouring to those in authority. Many years later I find myself walking in those very shoes I gave so much lip to. Thankfully, God’s grace and love filled the gap between those years.
    Jay Cookingham recently posted..Shore LeaveMy Profile

    • I love how God’s grace intervenes! We may fail and fall short, sowing all kinds of negative things, but then in Him, the reaping can be reduced or even taken away. He’s so gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love! Thank you, Jay.

  3. In general, I usually reserve my scoffing for myself. Although I do marvel in wonder at the lost of this world who scoff at the One who supplies their very breath to do so…

    I’m with you, the vision of our Father scoffing at us is a dreadful thought. When you used Job as the example the part of that scripture raced to the front of my mind, “Surely I spoke of things I didn’t understand, things to wonderful for me to know… Therefore I despise myself and repent in ashes…”

    Great thoughts about the priorities of our lives. Who couldn’t use a reminder daily? Thanks, Jason.

    • You talk about scoffing at yourself and it makes me think that there’s a difference when we tease our friends (to some degree). It’s not to belittle or diminish, it’s just playful bantering. You could certainly cross a line into dishonor or scoffing, but there is a relationship there that enables you to carry on differently. Anyway, just thinking about that.

      Yeah, Job’s example really paints a picture. Thank you, Floyd.

  4. Scoffing is such a picture of disrespect and in that vein I have been disrespectful of others before, especially those who I do not agree with. Those scriptures in Proverbs strike conviction in my heart, thank God for His grace. Thought provoking post brother.
    Betty Draper recently posted..Better Off Without JesusMy Profile

    • Convicts me too, Betty. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  5. Two very well know verses that came to mind as I was reading this:

    Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39)
    Love does not dishonor others (1 Corinthians 13:5)

    The two words used for love have slightly difference meanings, but they add upon each other.
    1) Matthew 22:39 -- Dearly love others as you do yourself.
    2) 1 Corinthians 13:5 -- Charity, affection, brotherly love, love does not dishonor others.

    All that to say, I’ve got room for correction and improvement in my life. I am not loving as I should. I am not honoring as I should.
    Dusty recently posted..How Do We Identify Ourselves?My Profile

    • That’s where I am too, brother. Those words so struck me, but I appreciate His discipline. It’s born out of His priceless love. Thanks so much, Dusty.

  6. The biggest pull to scoff is when I am being scoffed at. I try to take a breath and rely on the Holy Spirit to quiet my heart and shut my mouth.
    seekingpastor recently posted..10 Reasons to Like MayonnaiseMy Profile

    • Amen. That’s a good prayer. Like you said, it’s not easy to hold your tongue when being mocked or belittled, but it is wise. Thanks Matt.

  7. Dusty’s comments say it all -- we need to stop ourselves the moment we find the temptation to mock or scorn is knocking at our door, and remember that we are commanded, not asked, commanded to love God and our neighbor. I’ve been actively working on nipping my negative feelings in the bud since naming this year one of “Love.”
    Like you, the last thing I would wish for in this life dedicated to Him would be to earn, and deserve, His scorn. May we ever search our own hearts and leave judgment of others up to God.
    Wonderful, inspiring post!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..Disconnect to ReconnectMy Profile

    • Love as God loves is a beautiful and wonderful thing. Thank you, Martha.

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