by Coye Bouyer
LANSING, MI – As a pastor I come in contact with a lot of different people, and over the years I have learned that people are very different. There are a variety of attitudes and actions just depending on who you’re talking to. I have also learned how to listen to just about anyone even if I don’t always agree with everyone.
However, it never fails that at some point I come in contact with someone who instead of looking to listen and learn from biblical council, they would rather YOU listen to THEM, and simply leave them where they are.
In fact, I have come to appreciate listening to all, but leaving some right where they are. Sounds a little like a Proverb I once read, “He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself, and he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself. Do not reprove a scoffer or he will hate you,” (9:7-8a).
In this particular Proverb, Solomon basically says, any attempt to alter the attitude or actions of an arrogant individual is only asking to be abused.”
Wanting to express a fundamental truth that makes practical sense to many yet is only practiced by a few, Solomon highlights a principle that even Jesus will teach His disciples later. “Do not give what is holy to dogs or cast your pearls amongst swine.”
Why does Jesus say this in Matthew 7:6? For the same reason as Solomon, both men recognize that intelligent individuals desire to illuminate and enlighten the minds of the naïve, foolish and young.
But both men also understand that when you are dealing with an individual whose attitude and actions are marked out by haughtiness, pride, or simply arrogance (in Hebrew, “a scoffer”), then you are inviting insult, and in some cases, injury into your life.
For whether they trample on your wisdom like swine do pearls, or turn on you to tear you to pieces like wild dogs, in the end the one offering help is left in need of help because they failed to pay attention to this simple piece of proverbial principle given by Solomon and promoted by Jesus.
So, what is the point of this lesson? Simple, you and I as pastors, ministry leaders, lay-people, parents, and as everyday people must learn the balance and skill of ‘learning to listen to all, but leaving some right where they are.’
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pastor Coye L. Bouyer is the founding pastor of Kingdom Life Church in Lansing, MI where he has served since March of 2010. Pastor Bouyer recently stepped into the Diversity Ambassador role for the BSCM and firmly believes that he was not only called to Preach the Gospel as part of the process of reconciliation of man to God, but also using any platform as a bridge of reconciliation of man to man, and even more so amongst the brethren. Pastor Bouyer and his lovely wife Keturah (Gen. 25:1) have been married four over 20 years and have four children; Sierra, Seth, Cayla and Coye II.