17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. 1 Timothy 5:17
We all have to learn to avoid the dangers of familiarity. It is easy to take things for granted, but knowing how to handle whatever opportunity the Lord brings your way is a sign of maturity. It is easy to lose your focus when you become familiar with the church.
Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines familiarity as intimate and frequent converse or association in the company. This definition may sound just fine until you realize how many individuals have lost various opportunities in life by mishandling the chance to be close. The Holy Spirit recently drew my attention to how some close ones have stopped receiving prophetic insights from me because they have become familiar in the wrong way.
Some believers have stopped honoring from the time they became familiar. It is one of the dangers you must avoid. Your intimacy with God or His servants or anyone else shouldn’t lead you to let your guards down. I have seen people use words they weren’t using before they became familiar.
6 “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. if then I am the Father, where is My honor? And if I am a Master, where is My reverence? Says the Lord of hosts to you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’ Malachi 1:6
Honor, from the Greek word timao, means to show high regard respect for and so to count as valuable, to esteem, and to revere. Dishonor is one of the dangers you must avoid at all costs. You don’t stop honoring because you have become familiar with someone or a place.
Due to modern technology, many use dishonorable words in their chats and messages to people they wouldn’t use in person. Whether in person or not, make sure to continue honoring.
Another danger you need to avoid is pride. I have seen Christians who were so humble until they became close. They throw away all their etiquettes and mannerisms because they have become familiar. Pride can destroy relationships.
6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6.
God resists the proud. Avoid pride by working on your heart. Constantly remind yourself of your purpose and not your position. When a junior pastor begins to think in his heart that he is a better teacher than his senior pastor, you should know that there is a problem. It doesn’t matter how close you have become to your pastor or anyone, keep a heart of humility so that God can increase your grace.
Familiarity Breeds Contempt
5 A fool despises his father’s instruction, but he who [b]receives correction is prudent. Proverbs 15:5
It is easy to become contemptuous when familiarity sets in. Everyone is worthy in the sight of God. Being contempt is having a feeling that a person is worthless or beneath consideration. Now, this is an abomination in the sight of God to think of someone as worthless. God sets up relationships for a purpose. No one is worthless!
Open rebellion is one simple way to know you’re no longer worthy in the heart of someone. Every action is from the heart – when there’s no longer an honor, all sorts of attitudes are displayed. Avoid contempt by maintaining your honor.
6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. Matthew 7:6
When you have lost your worth in the heart of someone, they stop taking you seriously. For example, I have never seen correction as a punitive measure. Correction is an expression of love to aid you to fulfill the will of God. Don’t despise correction no matter how it is discharged.
Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear. 1 Timothy 5:20
There is nothing wrong with being rebuked publicly. God’s intention is for others to learn so as not to fall into the same temptation. Public rebuke is not for gossiping. Don’t let your love grow cold. Maintain the atmosphere of honor – in your heart, speech, and deeds. Do everything to avoid these few dangers of familiarity and will see your life soar. Stay blessed
Read Further: 1 Corinthians 6:12, Psalm 41:9
Prayer For Today
Precious Father, I thank you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for reminding me of the need not to mishandle your grace. I walk in the grace to avoid all the dangers the enemy may bring my way as a result of being familiar. I refuse to be a stumbling block from today. Amen