Familiarity Breeds Irreverance In All Areas


The common saying Familiarity breeds contempt, but I think in this case Irreverence is a better word. I couldn’t quite put my finger on the exact word I wanted but in addition to Irreverance, it also brings comfort, lack of honor, changes the way we feel and how we see things, and the list goes on. It started to become more apparent that a lot of Christians, including myself, would use all sorts of different terminology regarding our faith not realizing the familiarity that came with it. Not only that, but it seemed like the more we hung out with “Christians” the more apparent it became that they seemed like everyone else. This led to a few conversations and seasons of discernment.

Familiarity with Words

I was speaking with my wife the other day and we started talking about the word Gratitude. Whenever we get a chance to just sit without interruptions, we always have some of the best conversations. This specific word came up because we were saying that so many people throw this word around, but it begins to lose its value and impact the more we say it but don’t practice it.

Think about it, we say we’re grateful many times, but how many things do we have that we take for granted? I love what Myron Golden said in one of his videos.

He said the second we wake up we have at least 10 things we can thank God for. Thank God for my eyes because I can see and there are many people that can’t. Thank God for my legs because I can walk and there are others who can’t. Thank God for the breath in my lungs because they’re working. Thank God for my hearing. Thank God that I can feel my wife next to me. Thank God for my thermostat that keeps me warm or cold. Thank God for my bed that lets me sleep comfortably. Thank God for my blankets when I get too cold. Thank God for my mouth that I can thank and praise Him when I wake up. Thank God for the job or business so that I can wake up and move forward with my purpose.

The list can go on and on and on. We tend to take a lot of things for granted, especially in America. There’s a great saying that says “Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times.”

I believe we’re in a time where we’re seeing the results of the easy times that we’ve had for so long. I won’t get into that but it’s almost like we create problems just to have something to complain about.

There are over 100 verses in the Bible talking about giving thanks and gratitude. We should take a little bit of time to reflect and really thank God for all the good that is in our lives. And yes, even all the bad. Why do I say that? Because in James he talks about rejoicing through all the trials because of the faith it produces. I can get deeper on that but I’ll leave that for another post.

I went in a little bit with gratitude, but there’s another word that we tend to use very often and begin to lose reverence for it.

It’s the name of God.

Here’s a fun fact, did you know that the Jewish people don’t say the name of God? I did a quick Google search, check this out:

The name of God used most often in the Hebrew Bible is the Tetragrammaton (Hebrew: יהוה, romanized: YHWH). Jews traditionally do not pronounce it, and instead refer to God as HaShem, literally “the Name”. In prayer, the Tetragrammaton is substituted with the pronunciation Adonai, meaning “My Lord”.

There is a deep reverence for the name of God, and there absolutely should be. Multiple verses and chapters, in Job, Amos, Jeremiah, Isaiah, etc. talk about the creator of all things, who told the ocean to stop where it stops, how high the mountains should go, and where the sun should rise. It’s pretty amazing and deep when you read the chapters.

There really is no comparison to anything, and when you begin to understand who God is, and who YOU are, perspectives really do change.

I do blame media though. For the lack of reverence and respect, the world puts on the name of God, and as people, we consume those things WAY more than we consume His Word, so of course it’s no wonder why people began to lose the reverence.

What’s even more crazy, as you draw closer to the Lord, he begins to show you these things and you actually feel more convicted. For instance, when TV shows use the name of Jesus almost like a curse, it’s hard to listen to. But I remember years ago I would do the same thing with no problem at all.

It’s amazing how God works.

Familiarity in People

I won’t spend too much time on this one because it’s pretty much the same concept as words. With people, however, when you become familiar, you begin to hear them differently.

The greatest example of this was when Jesus went to his hometown to perform miracles. The Bible says:

He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief.

And he went about among the villages teaching.

Mark 6:1-6

They thought because they watched Jesus grow up that they “knew” him already. They couldn’t receive what he was saying and didn’t believe and Jesus wasn’t able to do what He wanted.

Sometimes when we get too familiar with people, they may have advice or a Word from the Lord, but we end up blocking our own blessings because “we know them”. I’ve seen it happen and it’s very unfortunate.

We should be open to listening to what anybody has to say. It doesn’t mean that we’ll always have to apply it, but it’s always good to keep an open mind and hear wisdom when it’s spoken.

I had a mentor who would always say, to treat the information like a grocery store. You have a cart filled with things that you want, and whatever you don’t want, just put it back on the shelf.

God Bless.

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