Over the years since my childhood I remember my dad would periodically tell me “If you say something brilliant people will secretly hate you”. I always kind of dismissed it because I’m not the kind of guy that believes in absolutes outside of God. But as I’ve gotten older I have become pretty suspicious of my dad’s proverb. I am now willing to make a concession. If you say something that is brilliant some people will secretly hate you. I would even add the caveat that if you say something brilliant that conflicts with a person’s deeply held convictions they will secretly hate. you.
What is my basis for this? I don’t like to blindly believe in anything or believe something just for the sake of believing it. I remember reading in the bible in the book of proverbs about the fear of God being the beginning of wisdom. As great a verse as that is and as popular as that verse is among Christians most people do not know the verses that precede it.
“Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” -Proverbs 9:8-9
You see the reason why I am beginning to believe in my dad’s proverb is because we live in a world of people that are so wrapped up in themselves that they have no use for wisdom. Unless that wisdom serves their self interest it is offensive to them. It causes people to become “scoffers”. In the Hebrew the word used for scoffer is lewts which means to be arrogant, scornful, to be inflated with pride. There is something about saying something intelligent that touches another person’s ego. Not all people, but a lot of people.
I think that it is good to know in advance that you are really going to ruffle some feathers if you give revelation to people. But the people who are ready to hear the truth will be doubly strong for it. It can actually be a sign that you’re doing something right when you have people mocking you and talking about you behind your back when you’ve done nothing wrong. Jesus said “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake”. Jesus spoke the truth and it caused a tremendous amount of hard feelings and it ultimately led to him being murdered. But look at how many people were better off because of his sacrifices and the brilliant things that he said that came straight from God.