Matthew 10:24-25 ESV
“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.”
What this is saying here is that if we follow Jesus with our lives, and we do and say the kinds of things he did and said, and we obey him, and if we teach the truth of the gospel, those who are enemies of God, of Jesus Christ, will also be our enemies. And please note here that many of these enemies of Jesus are professers of faith in Jesus Christ, and many of them are wolves in sheep’s clothing. And Jesus is sending us out as sheep among wolves.
Many of those who are professers of faith in Jesus Christ are also addicted to pornography, to sexual immorality, to lying, to cheating, and to adultery. This is epidemic in the Christian community here in America. This seems to be the predominant sin within the church right now. And along with that is pride, idolatry, unforgiveness, resentment, bitterness, and hatred which then come out of people’s hearts in their actions, possibly in abusive behaviors.
For, to malign someone is to deliberately do to him (or her) what is harmful, hurtful, damaging, destructive, evil, slanderous, denigrating and insulting, etc. And this is purposeful, and it is intentional, and this comes out in many different forms. And since Jesus said we need to beware of men, for they will betray us and do all manner of evil against us, and since he counseled us to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves, we need to be aware of their tactics, which are really the tactics of Satan (see Matt 10:16-23).
The Tactics of an Addict-Abuser
Those who are addicts and abusers, which often go hand-in-hand, are often superficially charming, funny, witty, and entertaining people, so they are generally likeable people who people may generally be drawn to because of their charismatic personalities. This is not true in all cases, though.
They are also self-absorbed, i.e. very self-centered. Even their “good deeds” can come from the motivation of wanting attention or to be liked and approved by others so that others will think they are great and wonderful, while at home they may be abusing their spouses and children, maligning those who are walking faithfully with the Lord, and gaslighting them, tricking, playing mind games, and falsely accusing them of wrongdoing, etc.
These addicts-abusers may also be lazy people, not particularly motivated toward anything good, or they may flitter from this or that, not ever really settled on anything. They may be people who waste away their spare time and whose desire it is to be entertained and to “medicate,” as they call it, on a fantasy world, and usually on something related to sexual immorality or specifically they may be viewing porn or listening to stories or watching movies, but living in a dream world, often not facing reality.
They are habitual liars. Most of what they say can’t be trusted. They twist the truth to their advantage, or they make up stories regularly. They will make up stories to cover their sins in advance and they will make up stories to cover up their sins after the fact. They may even lie about sinning in a particular way if it suits their purposes in another way. For they are very manipulative, and those they see as their “enemies” they will try to manipulate to their advantage so that they have the upper hand.
They appear to lack remorse, showing no genuine sorrow for their wrongdoing. And rather they will rationalize their wrongdoing. And this is a BIG ONE. They will either find a way to cast the blame on the one they are abusing and sinning against, or they will pretend ignorance, although they are not ignorant. Some of them are even pastors of churches and Bible teachers, so they are not ignorant of the truth, but they will play dumb as though they don’t know something, but they will play the same dumb over and over again habitually when they have been shown the truth each time.
They are impulsive people who are easily drawn into sin and/or who willfully set themselves up for a fall because they want to fall. And they don’t accept responsibility for their actions which then goes back to blaming the innocent or pretending ignorance or acting as though they are hearing something for the first time or acting like they don’t know how to overcome sin or how to get rid of the evil that is in their hearts. But they have lots of knowledge. They are just short on obedience and BIG ON EXCUSES!
They are very much lacking in respect for other people unless they are people they deem worthy of respect, like people who are super talented or who are super smart and have lots of head knowledge. If they are men, they typically lack respect for females, which is why they are able to treat women as though they are sex objects and not as human beings, and why they get angry with women who do not do what they want them to do, and why they are able to manipulate, lie to, and cheat on them.
If they are living with spouses who are walking with the Lord and, perhaps, may also be wise to their tactics, they may pour on the abuse, making up lies, twisting truth, gaslighting, using trickery, deception, manipulation, and trying to put the blame on their spouses rather than take responsibility for their own sin. And they may lie to other people about their spouses to try to get others to dislike and to disapprove of them or to try to paint a picture of themselves as the victims, as though they are the abused.
And if they are professing faith in Jesus Christ, they will put on a show of righteousness in front of people who don’t know them and/or they will blend into whatever environment they are placed in, for they are good at being chameleons. So, at the gatherings of the church people may see them as great Christians but then at home the real them surfaces. But they can be “nice” even at home when it suits their purposes and then “mean” when it is to their advantage, as well.
To the Scriptures
The Bible teaches that these kinds of behaviors and words and thoughts come from what is stored up in our hearts. Some people are abusers because they want to be, i.e. it is their choice, but because what is stored up in their hearts is anger and hatred and unforgiveness against someone who they think did them wrong maybe even 50 or 60 years ago, and that anger is still inside of them. But many of them will refuse to face this truth and to get cleansed of what is in their hearts because they won’t surrender their lives over to Jesus Christ, although some will make professions of such.
Many or some of them grew up in the gatherings of the church and they know what the Scriptures teach about sin, but even if these things are pointed out to them, and even if they will acknowledge them, then they will turn right around and deny them when they want to sin or when they want to excuse away their sin and so they claim ignorance. But claiming ignorance every time habitually when one is not ignorant is manipulation and it is abuse, and it is just playing mind games and shows no seriousness whatsoever about stopping the sin and having true heart transformations.
Now, on our part, if we are the ones following Jesus, and if we are being illtreated by such people, we are to have no fear of them, “for nothing is covered that will not be revealed or hidden that will not be known.” So we are to keep speaking the truth even if we are treated badly in return. And we are not to fear those who kill the body or who may ruin our reputations, etc., but rather we are to walk in the fear of God (see Matt 10:26-31).
“So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matt 10:32-33).
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]
Listen to Our Hearts
Songwriters: Geoff Moore / Steven Chapman
How do you explain, how do you describe
A love that goes from east to west
And runs as deep as it is wide?
You know all our hopes,
Lord, you know all our fears.
And words cannot express the love we feel,
But we long for You to hear.
So listen to our hearts.
Hear our spirit sing
A song of praise that flows
From those you have redeemed.
We will use the words we know
To tell you what an awesome God You are.
But words are not enough
To tell you of our love,
So listen to our hearts.
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