Thursdays With Oswald—Dealing With Spiritually Stupid People

Oswald ChambersThis is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Dealing With Spiritually Stupid People

     I would like you to notice what the word “stupid” means. It does not mean ignorant, but anything formed or done without reason or judgment. Ignorance is being without knowledge “and the times of this ignorance God winked at [‘overlooked’]” (Acts 17:30). Do distinguish between ignorance and stupidity! … 

     [Passages to consider—1 Samuel 26:21 [I have acted like a fool]; Titus 3:3 [at one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved]; 2 Timothy 3:6-7 [silly and weak-natured and spiritually dwarfed women, loaded down with the burden of their sins and easily swayed and led away by various evil desires and seductive impulses]; and Hebrews 5:12 [you actually need someone to teach you over again the very first principles of God’s Word]]

     What are we to do when we come across stupid souls? Ignorant souls we can deal with, they need knowledge; the stupid soul does not need knowledge; the stupid soul needs to have the Word of God until it is worried by it. … 

     Never water down the Word of God to the understanding of your people. … “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” The Word of God is “a lamp” and “a light,” but when people get off on the “stupid” lines, it is all instincts, impressions, vague ideas—“ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

From Workmen Of God

I know the word “stupid” seems like an inflammatory word, but don’t get distracted from Chambers’ pertinent point on account of this word. The Bible makes it clear that we will come across people who are stupid in regard to the things of God. Our course of action is not argument or persuasion, but—as Chambers says—“the Word of God, the Word of God, the Word of God, first second and last; no sympathy, no help, only the Word of God.”

Is The Christian Life Difficult?

“We find the Christian life so difficult because we seek for God’s blessing while we live in our own will. … We make our own plans and choose our own work, and then we ask the Lord Jesus to come in and take care that sin shall not conquer us too much, that we shall not go too far wrong; we ask Him to come in and give us so much of His blessing. But our relationship to Jesus ought to be such that we are entirely at His disposal.” —Andrew Murray, in Absolute Surrender

Links & Quotes

link quote

“God has done astonishing and costly things to draw us near. He has sent His Son to suffer and to die so that through Him we might draw near. It’s all so that we might draw near. And all of this is for our joy and for His glory.” —John Piper

“The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation.” —C.S. Lewis

Detroit Tiger fans know that Alan Trammell should be in the MLB Hall of Fame.

Chilly Chilton has a deathwish, and you should read about it.

“Your business is to go and ‘tell to sinners round what a dear Savior you have found’, for that is God’s way of using you to complete the unity of His Church.” —Charles Spurgeon

“The most important thing a church can have going for it is strong, biblical preaching.  It can do with or without an app, a Facebook page, a glitzy web site, streaming sermons, online giving, a fancy building, free wi-fi, or a clearly defined brand.  But it cannot fulfill God’s purpose without power in the pulpit.” —Mark Atteberry

“Nothing fosters courage like a clear grasp of grace. And nothing fosters fear like an ignorance of mercy.” —Max Lucado

Christian & Hopeful From “Pilgrim’s Progress”

Pilgrim's ProgressI love Pilgrim’s Progress! You can read my full book review by clicking here. I’m sharing some of my favorite passages from this classic.

This is part of a dialogue between Christian and Hopeful—

Christian: “Then I say, sometimes (as I think) they may; but they being naturally ignorant, understand not that such convictions tend to their good; and therefore they do desperately seek to stifle them, and presumptuously continue to flatter themselves in the way of their own hearts. … True or right fear is discovered by three things: (1) By its rise: it is caused by saving convictions for sin. (2) It driveth the soul to lay fast hold of Christ for salvation. (3) It begetteth and continueth in the soul a great reverence of God, His word, and ways; keeping it tender, and making it afraid to turn from them, to the right hand or to the left, to any thing that may dishonour God, break its peace, grieve the Spirit, or cause the enemy to speak reproachfully. … Now the ignorant know not that such convictions that tend to put them in fear, are for their good, and therefore they seek to stifle them.”

Hopeful: “How do they seek to stifle them?”

Christian: “(1) They think that those fears are wrought by the devil (though indeed they are wrought of God), and, thinking so, they resist them, as things that directly tend to their overthrow. (2) They also think that these fears tend to the spoiling of their faith; when, alas for them, poor men that they are, they have none at all! and therefore they harden their hearts against them. (3) They presume they ought not to fear, and therefore in despite of them, wax presumptuously confident. (4) They see that those fears tend to take away from them their pitiful old self-holiness, and therefore they resist them with all their might.”

Read a dialogue between Faithful, Christian, and Talkative by clicking here.

Apathy Is Not An Option

The old joke goes like this –

Q: What’s the difference between ignorance and apathy?

A: I don’t know and I don’t care.

Corny, I know, but it does make a point.

For followers of Jesus Christ, sometimes ignorance of a situation is acceptable. But apathy is never an option. In other words, you may not know what’s happening around you, but once you know, you’re on the hook. You cannot do nothing. Especially when people need help.

Nowhere in Scripture will you ever see something like this –

  • “If you feel like helping the poor, go for it. If you don’t feel like it, that’s okay.”
  • “It’s okay to look away from the hurting.”
  • “If you’re too busy to get involved, God will understand.”
  • “If it makes you uncomfortable to see that, just pretend you didn’t see it.”

Nope. I cannot do that and call myself a follower of Jesus.

Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. (James 4:17, NIV)

The consistently righteous man knows and cares for the rights of the poor…. (Proverbs 29:7, AMP)

The godly care about the rights of the poor; the wicked don’t care at all. (Proverbs 29:7, CEV)

Get informed and then get involved.

I‘d love to hear where have you gotten involved.

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