Examining the Heart 85

A slighting spirit will turn a profane spirit, and will sin and pray too. Slightness is the bane of real religion, if it be not rooted out of the heart, by constant and serious dealings with, and beholdings of Christ in duties; it will grow more strong, and more deadly, by being under church-ordinances. Measure not your graces by others’ attainments, but by scripture trials. Be serious, exact in duty, having the weight of it upon your heart but be as much afraid of taking comfort from duties as from sins. Comfort from any hand but Christ is deadly. Be much in prayer, or you will never keep up much communion with God. As you are in private prayer, so much you will be in all other ordinances. Thomas Willcox

The concept or definition of slighting has the idea of treating something lightly, indifference, negligently, derogatory, or as of little importance. It is the opposite of the teaching of Scripture on eternity, the soul, holiness, and then glory. For example, in Matthew 23 Jesus said this to the religious elite of the day: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness” (v. 23). The scribes and the Pharisees followed their interpretations of the law with much detail and energy, but in their stringent following of the Law they neglected the portions that were of the most weight.

On the one hand this is what a liberal approach will do, but it is also what a legal approach will do as well. The liberal approach and the legal approach have something in common, and that is that they are diligent to focus on things they can do and deny what they cannot do. Both sides and/or views will treat the law lightly or slight it in order to be able to deny the truth of the Word of God and justify the view that they want. The human heart in its self-love and self-sufficiency will “lighten” the gravity and importance of the nature of God, of sin, the Law, and of eternity in order that it may be more comfortable or think it is righteous by what it does.

It is so easy for the heart (perhaps even “natural” for a person to do according to the natural man) to view things and to slight it or diminish it rather than to deal with it according to the gravity and weightiness of it that Scripture sets out. The heart always wants to justify itself in whatever it does or wants to do and when it runs up against Scripture it will diminish the weight of the teaching of Scripture (to itself and its way of thinking) so that it may do what it wants or so that it may justify itself in doing what it wants or having done what it wanted. It is so dangerous for the heart to practice a slighting of Scripture and of God, though indeed this may be hidden far from its own eyes. God judges this by turning a person over to more of it which leads to a profane spirit.

When a person slights (diminishes, treat lightly) something that is holy and weighty, it does not take long in doing this that a person becomes a profane person in his religious life and duties. When a person was said to profane a temple, this meant that they had desecrated, violated, defiled, and treated that temple in a sacrilegious manner. A foreign military commander would slight the temple of God by going in and treating it as a common thing, which was nothing to that commander, but that commander was viewed as profaning the temple by having desecrated and defiled it. This is what happens to religious people if they are not humble and weighty in their approach and treatment of holy things.

As one thinks about these things, it is easy to see how our hearts would begin to slight the things of God and we would profane His temple (ourselves) and begin to treat holy things lightly. This is a great sin of the modern age in which it slights holy things in order to get large numbers of people in the doors of buildings with “church” on the sign. In the modern age the professing Church slights holy things and values light things. It has lost its way because it does not treat holy things as holy and weighty things as weighty. The modern age has lost the ability to discern what is holy and weighty and the things that are not. How churches and individuals need to wake up and examine themselves to see what they are (not might be, but are) slighting. This is a great sin and people need to be awakened and have their eyes opened that they may see what they are doing. If not, we may find that we have many who are like Ananias and his wife Sapphira who were judged severely for slighting holy things.

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