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Cutting Off the Nose to Spite the Face

“The one who sends a message by a fool’s hand cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.” (Proverbs 26:6, HCSB)

Solomon is describing how something foolish (like sending an untrustworthy messenger) can lead to serious consequences (in this case the battle will not be averted because the message won’t be delivered). It reminds me of the old saying “cutting off the nose to spite the face.” The story is told of Vikings who attacked northern England in the 800’s. The mother superior of a monastery in Coldingham feared for her safety and for the safety of the other nuns. So she instructed them to cut off their noses and upper lips. She believed this would make the ladies unappealing to the Vikings marauders. It worked (sort of)…but the Vikings were so disgusted by the ladies that they burned the village to the ground and all the nuns with it.

Who would cut off his own feet…or nose…or upper lip? Yet, we see it all around…

  • I think of the Super Bowl halftime show which turned out to be a political circus promoting at least two controversial “movements”. But who is the audience? People who have, by and large, rejected those movements, are tired of politics, and just want to watch football.
  • Or the struggling local newspaper in the third most conservative county in America printing an over-abundance of left-leaning editorials.
  • Some suggest raising taxes on the middle class fits into this category.
  • Or the politician calling Iowans “dumb”…then losing Iowa.

My point is we often do something we find expedient at the moment only to find that in the long run it is detrimental. This Sunday I will be talking about one of those issues: giving. Giving isn’t a short-term, expedience issue, because it is NOT about money. We often don’t give because we think it is about money, but it isn’t. Giving is about the heart. Jesus said: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21, HCSB). Generous giving is a long-term discipleship issue. It’s an “I Will” issue.

If you’ll join us Sunday, I’ll take all the pressure and guilt off of you related to giving and we will learn how to store up for ourselves heavenly treasure. When all that junk is removed, I think you’ll see that giving is a joy.

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