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Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
No one respects a kiss-up. Let’s just go ahead and get that statement out there. No one respects a kiss-up. Some people may seem to LIKE a kiss-up, but ultimately even they do not RESPECT a kiss-up. I believe this is the case because the person kissing up is seen as shallow and insincere in their attempts. I believe most people see right through this kind of behavior, even if it is on a subconscious level and they may never say it consciously.
One such illustration of this is found in 1st Kings 22:5-6 And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day. (6) Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king.
While King Jehoshaphat, from the southern kingdom of Israel known as Judah, was visiting King Ahab in the northern kingdom of Israel known as Israel and Samaria, he asked King Ahab to have his prophets prophecy concerning the upcoming war they were preparing to undertake together. So, King Ahab calls together 400 prophets who would tell him what he wanted to hear, and that’s how he liked it…and that’s especially how his wife Jezebel liked it, which was more of the reason why things were done the way they were, but that’s for another blog post!
These 400 prophets told King Ahab to “…Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king”. This was the kind of outcome he wanted to hear. These prophets (false prophets really) were kissing up to the one who was paying their bills and who held the power of their future promotions! They knew how to play the game, and play the game they did!
King Jehoshaphat saw what was happening and asked King Ahab in 1st Kings 22:7 …Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him? In other words, “Isn’t there a preacher here who won’t kiss up to you?” Ahab then told him of Micaiah who was in prison, and that Micaiah wouldn’t tell him anything good about himself so he didn’t want to hear from him; like ignoring people just suddenly makes everything alright. Ahab would later learn this is not the case.
If Christians are not careful, we could also fall prey to this line of thinking; that in order to obtain a position in our current business or organization, that we have to play some kind of game that entails kissing up when really if we’d just connect, first with God, and then with others, we’d find God taking us into unexplored avenues of life that may or may not even require us to hold any kind of position at all in order to be successful.
Many people treat their Christianity and relationship with God in just such a kiss-up manner, thinking that the loftier the compliments to God, the more He’ll bless and accept them. But, God does not grant power and access to people simply because they kissed up to Him with spiritual platitudes and pleasantries, but rather He lets them in because He respects their decision to go to Heaven by His established way there; namely through placing their faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Incidentally, this answers the question of “Why do I need Jesus in order that I may go to Heaven?”. In short, it’s because God said so (that statement being said in the most loving way possible of course). Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
As Christians, whether we are at our place of employment, in church, or when it applies to our relationship with God, we must understand that no one respects a kiss-up and we must also decide whether we desire more to be liked by people or to be respected by them. Now, I believe you can be both liked and respected when there is a proper balance between these two choices.
In all honesty, has the Church’s attempts at trying so hard to be liked by unsaved people really brought that many people into the kingdom of God? We both know it hasn’t. But when someone respects you, it shows them that you have something real and that you believe in it enough to protect it with boundaries; and that you have something they should have as well, even if they don’t know it yet (God shows them THAT part!).
So, now that we have dealt with kissing up, let’s go out on a positive note, shall we?! I said earlier that some people may seem to LIKE a kiss-up, but ultimately no one RESPECTS a kiss-up. Even if someone likes the words of the kiss-up, they know deep down in their heart that they can’t trust that person, nor would they trust them with anything of significant value.
So what’s the best way to connect if kissing up is not it? The best way to connect with people and with God is simply that…to connect…on a real level…in a real way. Some people may even take your attempts at connecting as a form of kissing up in itself. Try to connect anyway! As long as you know it’s a sincere attempt, and not borne from some shallow motivation hoping to receive a favor for it, you are making progress in your personal development and that’s what will bring the blessing! Ultimately we know our true motivations, and that’s what matters most anyway!
I believe most people want (maybe even crave) this kind of connection; especially those who may tend to receive more than your average amount of kissing up due to their position in life! This doesn’t mean you’ll receive direct reciprocation for your attempts at connecting with people, but if you sow these kinds of relationship-building seeds then you will reap their harvest in due season.
Recently I sent complimentary messages to three people I tend to hold in high regard, about things I admired about them or something they recently did, and did not receive a single response from either of them…not a single response from either of them!
Should I quit trying altogether to connect with people? No! Maybe that’s what it means for those three, but not with everyone! I’m taking steps to better my connections with people and there’s a whole world of people out there with whom we can connect and there are many of them who will reciprocate this connection back to us!
God and His ways have to be first in our lives! No matter the pressure from around us, nor the pressure from within us to be liked and accepted by the multitudes, we must not fall back on the shallow ground of kissing up, but rather hold firm to the end the strong virtue of connecting with people. After all, this is what we should want and it is also that which will bring the most satisfaction into our lives!
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