Posted on October 8, 2019 by Erin Culleny in Victory Call
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Romans 12:16
Have you noticed in the last several years that “whatever” is commonly being used as a dismissive and often disrespectful word? In the midst of a disagreement – one person says, in a dismissive tone – “whatever.” It is a way of saying, I don’t agree with you, but whatever. You are wrong but whatever. What you are saying is irrelevant, dumb or not worth consideration. It shuts down conversation. It shuts down relationship. It comes with a sharp barb in it.
It is a verbal rolling of the eyes. It is not “loving our neighbor” and reeks of self-importance and pride. I think the Biblical word “haughty” would fit here. [“Showing oneself above others”… though often denoting preeminent, is always used in the NT in the evil sense of “arrogant, disdainful, haughty…”] And God says He will not endure it. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure. Ps 101:5
Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. I have done exactly what I’m writing about.
It’s not the word that is disrespectful, it is an arrogant/haughty heart behind it using the word in a disrespectful way. Therefore it is more a heart issue than a word issue. The best place to start is with confession and repentance. Ending a conversation or conflict with whatever is thinking more of self and less about others.
…not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment Romans 12:3
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
…with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love…Ephesians 4:2
With it (the tongue) we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. James 3:9-10 ( ) added.
Let me leave you with this thought: Perhaps a good rule of thumb would be this: when we feel like dismissing the other person with a disrespectful whatever, we need to choose to listen longer, ask more questions and seek to really hear and love the other person, the very opposite of what we feel like doing in the moment. It will require yielding to the Holy Spirit’s power in us and Jesus Christ living humbly through us.
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips![i] Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of (my) mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.[ii] Lord, I pray that I will do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than (myself) and look not only to (my) own interests, but also to the interests of others. .[iii]
[i] Psalm 141:3
[ii] Ephesians 4:29 (NIV – adapted)
[iii] Philippians 2:3-4
Written By Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and provides ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org..
Think About This: Downsizing so that others might upgrade is Biblical, Beautiful, and nearly unheard of. – Francis Chan
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. – Psalm 51:12
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.