“Rise and Shine!”

A good friend also needs to have good manners, considering the feelings of his friend.

February 13, 2020

"He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him."

Proverbs 27:14

When is a blessing not a blessing?  When the one giving out the blessing is ill-mannered and thoughtless.  Because of our “Genesis 3 natures,” we are all selfish and finite.  The scriptures teach us that we all want what we want, and we aren’t really concerned with those who think differently.  It’s easy to get stuck in the mold of “I’m right,” “My way is the best way,” and “If you don’t like it, you can lump it!”  Our verse for today is an excellent example of this thinking by one who wants to “bless” his friend early in the morning.

“He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice.”
This flatterer goes to his friend with gushing praise and applause.  His loud voice is sure to let his friend hear him and any others within shouting distance too.  Talk about an awkward moment for the friend!

“Rising early in the morning.”
What an inopportune time for a visit!  His “rising early” seems to say that this was a spur-of-the-moment idea and a completely unplanned and unexpected visit.  The praiser is undoubtedly thinking of himself and not the praisee.[1]

“It shall be counted a curse to him.”
No doubt, you have heard the saying, “With friends like that, who needs enemies?!”  Instead of blessing that poor trapped soul, his act will always be remembered as a curse, and he will be counted as a pariah and a “friend” to be avoided.

The lesson here for us is simple to understand.  Love is not rude, and it has good manners.  In fact, several of the characteristics of authentic love are broken in this “deed of praise,” of the phony blessing (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

Love:

suffereth long, – it is patient.
is kind, – it thinks of others, not itself, it is gracious.
vaunteth not itself, – it never brags, “Look what I did!”
is not puffed up, – it is not proud of its accomplishments.
doth not behave itself unseemly, – it is never indecent, rude, or impolite.
seeketh not her own, – it doesn’t look out for its own interests.  It thinks of others.

Lord, help us to genuinely consider the needs of others, even when we bless them.

 

 

 

[1] Think of this.  “…rising early in the morning — To perform this office, to show his great forwardness and diligence, and zeal in his service; which was the custom of the Romans afterward, and possibly of some of the Jews at this time.”  Let’s learn from these mistakes of others.  Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, the electronic version in eSword.