Monday, January 19, 2015

How is being clamorous like a Russian nesting doll?

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. (Ephesians 4:31)

My Sunday School teacher was reading this verse aloud yesterday, and I got stuck on the word 'clamor'.

It is an interesting word. We hardly ever hear anyone use it these days. I like the word clamor, if not the real life noise it represents.

According to the internet dictionary, clamor means
"a loud and confused noise, especially that of people shouting vehemently."

Set of Matryoshka dolls nested
inside each other. Wikipedia
Whenever there is a list of words together, especially moral qualities, it seems to me that they build. Like Russian nesting dolls, they're connected. In this case, Matthew Henry Commentary explains the connection between bitterness, wrath, and anger and its connection to clamor and slander and malice.
By bitterness, wrath, and anger, are meant violent inward resentment and displeasure against others: and, by clamour, big words, loud threatenings, and other intemperate speeches, by which bitterness, wrath, and anger, vent themselves. Christians should not entertain these vile passions in their hearts not be clamorous with their tongues.
Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 2315). Peabody: Hendrickson.

I think this can be especially applied to women. The bible speaks of woman's quietness and gentleness as part of exemplary character. Riotous women, whether in anger or clamorous mirth, are not to be modelled after. In fact, Titus 2:3 says women should be reverent in behavior.

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. (Proverbs 31:25)

Whether man or woman, we know that what is inside us comes out and it can either honor Jesus or defile us. See Mark 7:21-23,

And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.

Matryoshka dolls set in a row
Wikipedia
If I suddenly break out in clamorous, slanderous, or malicious talk, then I know I have much more inside me that needs to be repented of. The outward expression is merely the end result, not the beginning. The beginning is what is in the heart. It is a grace to have verses like these, which tell us that if we are speaking clamorously, then it is the warning signal that there is something needing to be addressed inside of us, as a sinful heart condition.

Aren't we fortunate and blessed to have the Word of God to use as the mirror of all goodness? Holding it up to ourselves as a reflection is painful sometimes but this is what Jesus wants, and it is good for us. After all, didn't Paul say to Timothy,

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16)


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