Arrogant Pride Misses The Spirit of Generosity, Part 1

Watch the above video which has a clip about a homeless man offering money to those who walk by him on the street. The homeless man is an actor who wished to discover people’s reactions when the beggar seeks to give instead of receive. What you see will shock you.

I found the scenes chilling. People found his offer disgusting and cursed at him. They revealed the human heart that declares,

“I am so much better and more important and more successful than you are. You insult me. I have an expensive car, I make a lot of money, and I will not be mocked since I am a self-made person. Be like me! What you offer has no worth. What you offer offends me. I do not need what you offer."

What shocked me about this video clip was the level of cursing and perverse speech in reaction to the poor man offering them money. In the Old Testament, I find it interesting that pride (or “ga'on” in the book of Proverbs) is so closely associated with arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

Arrogance and pride dwell in the heart, but this video reveals the extent to which it evidences itself in speech that profanely belittles the other person. “I am superior to you, you piece of dung."

My conclusion is that the humble respond to this offer with,

“Wow, you are so kind to think of giving rather than receiving. I do not need any cash, but thank you. If your desire is to give, I will receive this. But know that I will soon pass this on to someone else. I will be a vessel of your generosity. I salute you."

Humble givers respond to the spirit of generosity of others.

The proud takers miss the whole spirit of generosity of the giver. Instead, they take up offense. They foolishly hear this message in their own minds:

“I, the beggar, am giving you money because you are really a nobody as you walk by me. You are really in need of a $1. I will give you money since you really aren’t what you appear to be. You are poor.”  

Of course, that was not the message the beggar was sending.

Those who reacted with anger and cursing interpreted the homeless man’s offer as a belittling and insulting, and it infuriated them. One could almost sense that they might have murdered him given they would not get caught. One would not think that a beggar offering money would solicit such vehemence.

This reveals the degree to which some people are hollow souls lacking discernment and basic decency. They have a view of themselves as all-important and look down at the beggar as nothing more than scum.

Those who walk by reveal the extent of the vacuum in their soul. Their lack of character and compassion is on full display. There is no inner maturity or substance. Their darkness comes to light.

Their behavior is hellish.

A well-known preacher once declared that Hell is not real. He taught that all will end up in heaven with God. Apart from this being an old message repeated in every generation, and apart from him doing miracles with various texts of Scripture (or, to be more accurate, with slight of hand), he makes an unwarranted assumption.

He assumes people really want to be with God throughout eternity, and if they don’t, they soon will want to be with Him.

I want to agree with him. Who doesn’t?

What person on this carnal planet wants to think that Hell is for real?

Though we often hear people say, “Go to Hell,” none of us actually want this for anyone--well, most of us. All of us would love to assume we have misread Jesus about Hell.

Mark Twain once noted that he wasn’t bothered by the things he didn’t understand in the Bible; he was bothered by the things he did. Hell would be one such thing. It isn’t a popular idea, but stares us in the face throughout the Gospels.

Here is my question: Should we assume that all want or will want Heaven?

An atheist friend of mine once told me, “If there is a God, I do not want to be with Him throughout eternity.” He did not say it flippantly, but rather sincerely. What if what he says represents a reality for many on this planet?

Does something hard to imagine make it untrue?

Jesus said there will be the gnashing of teeth in a timeless state, which is a sign of anger and bitterness. Some prefer cursing God in anger throughout eternity, just as they shake their fist at Him on earth. As they do not humble themselves and worship Him now, they have no interest in timelessness to change their sentiments.

They wish to enter an endless first moment of blaspheme. That’s what they want.

They want to angrily curse, not humbly worship. People who curse find a measure of pleasure in their cursing. They are their own god, damning what they perceive to be wrong. They feel righteous and just. Cursing declares that they are right and the cursed are wrong.

As cursing does something for them now, cursing does something for them in eternity. As odd as it seems, they want to curse God. They believe they are right and He is wrong.

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

Such people do not want fellowship with God now and do not want it ever. They do not want to follow God but themselves. They know what is best and right for themselves. Submitting to God frightens and repulses them. They have made their case against Him and their damning words capture the judgment they feel against God if He is there (but of course, He must not be there, in light of evil and suffering in the world, they say).

Some of us stumble at the idea of people not wanting to be with God in Heaven. But we are lovers of God, not haters of God. And, we care deeply for the souls of people. We want them with us and with God forever.

But these people are indifferent to what matters to us. They are probably not reading this blog. They could care less. In their deepest spirit, they do not want to love and honor God (Romans 2).

That idea of not wanting to be with God is hard to imagine. Thought, what if that were far truer than any of us can visualize?

I will dive deeper into this question when we continue with Part 2 tomorrow.

-Dr. E