Familiarity Breeds Contempt

I offered him another drink and he gratefully accepted.

1 Timothy 6:1-10

Reference: Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves. These are the things you are to teach and insist on. (1 Timothy 6:2 NIV)

Explore: With our fast growing family we needed to make some adjustments to our house. Our options were to sell, extend or renovate. We decided to take the cheaper option at this stage and to renovate by closing in the second dining area.

The day the builder came to make the changes it was 36 degrees (Celsius). I offered him a glass of juice when he arrived and after an hour or two, when I was getting a glass of water, I offered him another drink. He gratefully accepted.

As we were chatting over a glass of water he shared his experience of working at different people’s houses. Those he knew well were often fairly lax at offering him a drink. However, those he didn’t know well – particularly if they were Indian or Filipino in culture – would not just offer him drinks but invite him to eat meals with them as well.

He was not bitter about his experience, in fact he was quite philosophical. “Familiarity often breeds contempt,” he told me.

Application: While this passage in 1 Timothy 6 is addressing slaves, I think it is true for everyone. When we know someone well we can get lazy in our respect.

In fact, as we build a strong relationship with Christ we can often get lazy in our honour of Him. Yes, He loves us and has unending grace for us, but that doesn’t mean we should be lax in our dedication and worship of Him.

May we not be the type of people for whom familiarity breeds contempt. May we go out of our way for all people, strangers and family, to show honour to all of God’s children.

Prayer: Lord, forgive us when we don’t show the love and care that You give to us. May we treat all people with respect and grace. Amen.

Which close friend or family member have you shown contempt towards?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.


AnonymousDecember 24, 2013 at 2:59 AMReply

Prayer for my family & relatives in the Philippines they’re one of the survivors when the typhoon Haiyan hit in Tacloban

lisaDecember 27, 2013 at 12:35 PMReply

was looking for object lesson type devotionals for my teens – we are lacking in this area family devotional time and prayer-
so I was looking on line for ideas – these are great devos 🙂 short to the point – with our limited attn span- thanks Lisa