As part of my daily Bible reading, I make it a point to read one chapter of Proverbs per day. I keep repeating this month after month because I feel like it always gives me some little nugget of wisdom I need at just the right time.
This reading was no different. I had read it MANY times before but had always just glossed over it. It never stood out to me before…until now.
It is Proverbs 17:19
“One who loves to offend loves strife; one who builds a high threshold invites injury.” (HCSB)
It was the second part of the verse that stood out to me this time. The person who builds a high threshold invites injury. Have you ever tripped over a door’s threshold? I have, many a time.
The King James Version reads:
“He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction”
The Hebrew word for exalteth (or “high” in the HCSB version) is “gābah” which, according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance means:
To be proud, arrogant. The attitude of pride or arrogance. Something that is “too high” and cannot be understood.
The Hebrew word for “gate” (or threshold in the HCSB) is “petach” and means:
Entrance, opening (alluding to theatrics in the definitions)
Basically this is saying we are not to make our entrance or opening too proud or arrogant. Opening can mean introduction. It can mean our presentation to someone, as in opening lines, opening statement. It can mean first impression like an entrance onto a stage! So essentially this means that we should not make or give an impression of being proud or arrogant or it could cause injury. What does that mean??
It means, when we meet someone or have an interaction with someone, our pride or arrogance could cause them to stumble and ultimately fall. It could cause injury in the sense that we may be the only picture of Jesus they ever see and if we behave in a way that shows pride and arrogance or a self-righteous attitude we could turn that person away, maybe permanently. It also says something too high to be understood. We cannot use terminology and act like Ms. Super Christian or else we put a stumbling block in front of a new believer who feels like they can’t measure up.We may be the only picture of Jesus they ever see Click To Tweet
I have often, sadly, heard people say that Christians are self-righteous, holier than thou, judgmental, etc. These are all caused by people erecting high thresholds. How sad that these people came away from their interactions with people in the body of Christ carrying that impression…that injury to their very soul.
If you are a blogger as I am, it could be easy to fall into that prideful state. We look at numbers, visits, some compete with others because they want to be ‘famous’ for what they do. We cannot forget our purpose for doing what we do…to show Christ, to help people to grow in their faith walk.
If you are a Christian, you are a walking billboard for Jesus. You show the world what Jesus is all about! If your thresholds are too high you are going to cause someone to trip and stumble…and potentially fall. This does not just apply to those who aren’t yet saved…you can cause a new believer to fall.If you are a Christian, you are a walking billboard for Jesus. Click To Tweet
But let’s not neglect the first part of this verse, even though the second part could stand alone.
“One who loves to offend, loves strife”If your thresholds are too high you are going to cause someone to trip and stumble…and potentially… Click To Tweet
One who loves to offend in order to bring about strife is a drama queen! We cannot be people who love to cause drama or insert ourselves into it. There are many people, especially on social media, who seem to thrive on drama. But we are not to be one of them. My kids’ former babysitter used to always tell them, “Save the drama for your mama” and I have lived by that!! I avoid drama at all costs! It hurts everyone involved. And as Christians we should avoid it like the plague. It can hinder your walk AND your talk and again, cause someone to stumble.
So dear Christian woman…let us be sure we are always walking in humility and gentleness. Be sure that your thresholds are low enough that ANYONE from ANY walk of life, any culture, any experience crossing over can do so without injury. You never know who is watching you to find Jesus!