I was listening to a minister talking about the parable of the talents. The one talent, the two, the five. And, because we christians can be soooo works-oriented, he went on to talk about the lowly folks who have one talent (like church babysitters) and those great ones who have five talents (like Pastors who have PhD's etc.) Of course I wanted to shriek, "You officious, over-bearing smug a**hole!" But I didn't. We esteem and judge so differently than God does.
The Lord tells us to esteem others more highly than ourselves. This means that when it comes to contemplating the worth and work of others (if we are ever foolish to even do that) we should not judge things the way man judges, by appearance. Or when someone is in pain, we shouldn't say things such as "get over it" or "you know what your problem is: you're a blamer" or "Oh come on, it's not so bad!" Nor should we go to prayer asking God -- and insulting His intelligence-- by telling Him in a judgemental manner to change someone else's life or outlook or heart. We have to withold judgement. We have to forbear because as the Bible says the heart knows its own bitterness and a stranger doesn't intermeddle. As the Bible says, Who are you, oh man, to judge God's servant?
I'm always amazed at how highly people prize themselves and their opinions. I remember reading a magazine where a Christian woman talked about what she did when her friend left an abusive marriage and went off into an affair. The abusive husband had been beating up her friend, verbally and physically and the new man in her life was good, kind, rich. This woman stated she started to pray that her friend would leave this evil relationship. And she said she prayed very hard and hard for it until she started to see the effects of this prayer. Okay, am I being a wuss here? But shouldn't this woman have minded her business and prayed something like, "Heal my friend of her wounds." And ONLY pray that. Doesn't it seem a bit pushy and very like witchcraft for her to set her heart to destroy a new relationship, adultery or now? Am I just being a wuss here? And I totally believe there are such things as negative prayers that get answered. The devil answers them, or human ESP answers them. So we really have to stop esteeming our opinions of others lives better than their opinions of their own lives. Once we start believing that people have "a blind spot" about their own lives, then we get so caught up with showing them their blind spot that we don't ponder our own blind spots. Anyways, for your perusal: the Bible word: esteem
Deuteronomy 32:15 "But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation."
"for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed." 1 Samuel 2:29-31
"Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food." Job 23:11-13
Job 36:19 "Will he esteem thy riches? no, not gold, nor all the forces of strength."
Job 41:27 "He esteemeth iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood."
Psalm 119:128 "Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way."
Isaiah 29:16 "Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?"
Isaiah 53:3 "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not."
Isaiah 53:4 "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted."
Luke 16:15 "And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God."
Romans 14:5 "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."
Romans 14:14"I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean."
1 Corinthians 6:4 "If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church."
Philippians 2:3 "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."
1 Thessalonians 5:13 "And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves."
Hebrews 11:26 "Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward."
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