I think Jesus was chuckling when He kindly pointed out to me that, from her perspective, she had shared a high compliment because she was one who judged and assessed the world by the standard of herself….her taste, her opinion, her sense of what was appropriate or inappropriate, right or wrong, etc.
“Dismay” is not a word commonly verbalized in everyday conversation. It’s used 43 times throughout Scripture (NASB translation). In scanning multiple Bible translations, however, (NIV, NKJV, The Message, Holman Christian Standard, Lexham English Bible) there is no New Testament use of “dismay.” The 1599 Geneva Bible translates Paul using the word twice in 2 Corinthians, and the New American Standard translates Jesus using the word in Luke 21:25 when He prophesied, “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear…” (italics added)
“Dismay,” then, is pretty much an Old Testament description of how people responded, reacted to a situation. And I find that interesting. Also of interest is that the concept is often partnered with two unsavory co-habitants: ten times “dismay” is used in conjunction with “fear” and five times in conjunction with “shame.” That’s about 40% of the time, which is significant when partnered with both a definition and resultant impact.
“In this world you have tribulation…” (John 16:33, NASB) Jesus precedes that statement with, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace.” (italics added) Jesus also made a specific promise about “peace” when He stated, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (John14:27, NASB)
I ran across a 2014 article by worship pastor and musician John Belt, as he discussed “Peace like a River.” In it, Belt writes, “There are some things that are false values that people incorporate into their lives that produce anxiousness, robbing them of the peace that Jesus gives. When we allow these lies to penetrate our minds we forfeit that tranquil river of rest. To value something that should not be valued, exist or be important to one’s life, creates a vacuum and empty space that cannot be fulfilled… False values are merely a mirage and fantasy that throw one off balance. If you were to say, ‘oh I have to be like this person or to really be successful or I must have this or look like this,’ then you have created a false standard that should not exist at all. There is no chance that this can be fulfilled, nor should it be. It is simply a vain imagination that needs discarded.”*
False values. Vain imaginations. Self-set standards. They all share a similar focus…that is, being focused on the “things on earth,” not on “things above” where we – in Christ – are seated. (Col. 3:1, NASB) And this earthward – not heavenward – preoccupation subjects us to a variety of maladies we were not meant to carry, nor meant to have flow from us as a substitute for “living water.”
“…thinking more of yourself than of Him.” That strikes me as anouch…or at the very least, a serious hmmm…and yet it is a mindset that seems to be at the very core of false values, vain imaginations, self-set standards. There is no inheritance in that….just as there is little peace.
John Belt ended his article by writing, “When we ask the Lord to rule our hearts, for His Kingdom and will to be done in our lives, the very first manifestation of His Kingdom is the peace of the King…Hit the refresh button today, allowing God to give you a renewal of your heart in His peace.”*Selah!*http://overflowglobal.com/