Familiarity breeds contempt

Familiarity breeds contempt” is a well-known maxim that possibly goes all the way back to Publius the Syrian, who lived in 2 b.c. Aesop, though is the more popular originator with his fable of the fox and the lion.

In Aesop’s fable, a fox had never before seen a lion, and when he first met the king of the beasts, the fox was nearly frightened to death. At their second meeting, the fox was not frightened quite as much; and the third time he met the lion, the fox went up and chatted with him! “And so it is,” Aesop concluded, “that familiarity makes even the most frightening things seem quite harmless.”

Are you so “familiar” with Christianity that it holds no fear and wonder for you?
Is the name of Jesus Christ just an expletive that you carelessly throw around in anger or abbreviate in jest?

How truly “familiar” are you with the scriptures and the mind and heart of God revealed to us within? Have you so hardened your own heart and become so embittered that you are unable to receive correction and encouragement from your pastor or another loving brother or sister?

Mark 6:1-6 is sometimes applied to preachers when they feel as though they have worn out their welcome and they are no longer “honoured” by their congregation. However, the concern here is not the preacher or pastor that you might be bored with – rather it is the God he represents. Love covers a multitude of sins and carries infinite capacity for forgiveness. Beware that your heart and mind is not so set on taking offense that you become contemptuously familiar with the Spirit of God and quench his fire and resist his work in your life that He withdraws from you and no longer does mighty work in your midst.

Jesus withdraws from Nazareth and soon departs from and ceases his public ministry in Galilee. This is the last chance those in Nazareth would have to personally meet him, know him and love him – they despised him and they lost their opportunity. The greatest judgment God can invoke upon us is not necessarily fire and brimstone, but to withdraw from us completely and leave us to the end of ourselves.