This is an excellent time to bring out into the open even the slightest intolerance lurking in your life and place it before the Lord. The book of Proverbs offers a compelling reason to do so by painting a picture of someone we do not want to become.
There is a kind of man who curses his father
And does not bless his mother.
There is a kind who is pure in his own eyes,
Yet is not washed from his filthiness.
There is a kind—oh how lofty are his eyes!
And his eyelids are raised in arrogance.
There is a kind of man whose teeth are like swords
And his jaw teeth like knives,
To devour the afflicted from the earth
And the needy from among men. (Proverbs 30:11-14)
Take note of how the author described certain kinds of people who are “pure in their own eyes,” whose “eyelids are raised in arrogance,” yet who is “not washed from his filthiness.” The hypocrite wears a mask of superiority to conceal his own sinfulness. The intolerant often begin to believe their own press, truly seeing themselves as morally superior despite the proliferation of sin in their lives. Interestingly, their teeth become swordlike, sharp as knives, and like a predatory beast they feed on less aggressive creatures.
Whom do they devour? “The afflicted . . . the needy” (v. 14). Why, of course! Like predators in the wild, the intolerant invariably choose to devour the weak, the small, the young, the wounded, the vulnerable. They target those they consider beneath them.
From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.
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