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L is For the Way You Don't Provoke

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
February 9, 2023 9:00 am

L is For the Way You Don't Provoke

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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February 9, 2023 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah talks about how love does not provoke but seeks to make peace.

If you like this content and want to support the show you can visit us at Don't forget to rate and review our show! To learn more about us, visit us at If you have any questions or would like to contact us, email us at or text us at 252-582-5028. See you tomorrow on Clearview Today!

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Welcome back, everyone. Today is Thursday, February the 9th. I'm Ryan Hill.

I'm John Glantis. You're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abidjan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at, or if you have a question for Dr. Shah or a suggestion for a future episode, make sure you let us know by sending a text at 252-582-5028. You can also email us at contact at

That's right. You guys can help us keep the conversation alive by supporting this podcast, sharing it online, leaving us a good review on iTunes or Spotify, anywhere you get your podcast from. We're going to leave you a link in the description so you can do just that.

We love to read your reviews and all of y'all's support. That's absolutely right. John, you want to do the rest of the day, too? Yeah, I'll do it.

I feel like I've done it a couple days in a row. Yeah, I'll do it. 1 Peter 2-9, for this is commendable, if because of conscience towards God one endures grief or suffering wrongly.

Go ahead. I was just going to say, we tend to think of suffering as we are avoided at all costs. If there's any suffering or hardship in our lives, it's bad.

When God allows a level of suffering in our lives to teach us what we need to learn and to keep us reliant upon Him. If we're suffering for His sake, then that would be the right thing. That would be the right way to think about suffering.

That's what he's saying. It's because of conscience towards God. Like you just said, if you're doing it for God's sake, you endure grief. You suffer wrongfully. Someone is persecuting you. Someone's treating you wrong. It happens.

Even here in 2023 America, it happens where people are being mistreated because they're Christians. Peter is saying that's commendable. That's something that you should be proud of in a way. Yeah, it stinks. It's not fun to go through. But at the end of the day, there's some honor behind it because you have suffered for the King. You're looking good, by the way.

Can I just say that? What are you wearing? I'm wearing a black tee.

Why did this happen to us? I think I wore it yesterday and I just left it. We have a little coat rack over there just to give you guys a peek behind the screen where we kind of keep some clothes we can wear in a pinch if we need to record. I had this black tee.

I just look good in black tees. We are wearing the same. This happens too much. This happens too much. We already, people think we're the same person.

Yes, that is true. But on a Sunday morning, it's... For those of you who are listening, you're not getting that vibe. But if you're watching this, we do favor one another. We look very similar. Dark hair, beard. Tallish. Small glasses. Small glasses. And similar style.

Thick black glasses. Yeah. But now it gets worse because we wear the same thing. Right.

So I got one for you. Okay. Speaking of the color black.

Speaking of the color black, here we go. All right. I'm going to give you a million dollars.

I would love that. And your teeth are perfectly healthy. Okay. You will never get cavities again.

Simply not qualified. You will never, yeah, you will never have to go to the dentist again. Okay.

Not all of that, but your breath will always smell rosy fresh. Okay. But your teeth are black. They are black as the night. Okay.

But you will never have, they're in perfect health forever. Yeah, I'll take that. Oh my, Ryan Hill. I'll take that.

Ryan. Because I mean, worst case scenario, I look off-putting in- Really bad. Like on video and- Really bad. In pictures. Yeah. And I just smile like this.

You've got black teeth. Your wife has to see that. She's married to that now. Yep. If you were going to give a cent to you getting, would you talk to her?

Yeah. I'd ask her, but hey, is it okay if we do this? We'll get a million dollars and you're going to save on dental bills. Oh my good gracious. How often do you go to the dentist? Probably not as often as I should. I try to go every, what is it, like every six months or so?

Yeah. I try to go that often, but- What are you going to explain? Well, I guess you don't have to go.

I'll be like super self-conscious and keep my teeth hidden on top like that. Would you take it? No. No.

Really? No, I'm real self-conscious about my teeth. My teeth are already kind of crooked. Your teeth are just perfect. They're just black. Mm-mm.

Mm-mm. Really? No, I got- And this isn't like black, like rotted and gross. No, they're just- They are the color black. They're like luminescent, shiny black. Like if you shine a light on them- They look like obsidian. Yeah. Just like- Like dragon glass. Jet black teeth.

Yeah. They look like pure onyx, like what would align the gates of heaven. No, I wouldn't take them. I'm already, I don't like, I don't like my teeth.

I'm getting Invisalign later this year. So, but they would be straight, but already I've got a, I got a complex about my teeth. No, I'm not- That would just send it over the edge for you. Yeah. There's not enough money. Okay.

There's not enough money to make them black. Wow. Well, let us know what you listeners think.

Yeah, we all- We pose these million dollar questions to each other, but we want to hear what you guys think. Would you take that? You get a million dollars, but your teeth are completely black. Like black as the night. Totally black.

Nothing you can do changes that, but they are perfectly healthy. Yeah. See, let us know.

Yeah. Let us know. Right in. Let us know. Send us a text at 252-582-5028. We're going to get Dr. Shah. We're continuing this series on love, so we want to loop you guys into that conversation.

We're going to give you a quick ad real quick, let you know what's coming up, and I will be right back. Well, good morning, afternoon, evening, Clearview Today listeners. My name is Jon. And I'm David.

And we just want to take a quick second and let you know about another way that you can keep in touch with Dr. Shah's work, and that is his weekly podcast series, Sermons by Abidhan Shah, PhD. As a lot of you may know, or maybe some of you don't know. If you don't know, you do now. And if you don't know, then maybe just hop off the podcast.

David. I'm just playing. Hop off the podcast.

I'm just playing. Keep listening. Dr. Shah is actually the lead pastor of Clearview Church in North Carolina. Every single weekend, he preaches expository messages that challenge and inspire us to live God-honoring lives. Well, one of the four core values of Clearview Church is that we're a Bible-believing church. So every sermon is coming directly from scripture, which is great because that guarantees that there are timeless truths that are constantly applicable to our lives. This is a great resource because whether you're driving, whether you're cleaning the house, whether you're working out, you can always benefit from hearing the word of God spoken into your life. And God's word is always going to do something new for you every time you hear it.

Sometimes it's conviction and sometimes it's encouragement. But know that every time you listen to God's word, you're inviting the Holy Spirit to move and work in your life. You guys can check out the Sermons by Abbadon Shah PhD podcast. First and foremost, check it out on our church app. That's the Clearview app. You can get that in the Google Play Store.

You can get that on iTunes. But you can also find the podcast on the Apple podcast app or on our website at And listen, if you've got a little extra time on your hands, you just want to do some further reading. You can also read the transcripts of those sermons.

Those are available on Dr. Shah's website, And we're going to leave you guys a little link in the description so you can follow it. But for right now, David, let's hop back in.

All right. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at Or if you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, make sure you send us a text at 252-582-5028. Dr. Shah, I love that you are in the studio today. I was actually going to mention something. You always bring it up like it's some new thing. Well, guys, guess what? Good news, Dr. Shah.

He's here today. No, I mean, we're talking about love. We're in the month of February.

It's the love month. So I love that you were in the studio. I got you. That was cute. It took me a while to get it.

Yeah, that was cute. No. You had to walk us there. Now you gave me second guesses. No, no, no. Don't second guess yourself.

Be confident, man. You're a good host. You guys are good listeners. You're good viewers. If this is your first time ever tuning into the show, we want to welcome you. Dr. Abidjan Shah is a Ph.D. in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, pastor, and the host of today's show.

You can follow his work online at I love that encouraging word for our viewers and listeners. You guys are good viewers and good listeners. You're good. You're very good. You're good, you.

You're very good, you. So on today's episode, we are going forward in the month of February. We're still approaching Valentine's Day. We've been talking about love. It's on everybody's minds.

It's all over all of the ads and commercials that you're watching on TV. But we're talking about love from the biblical perspective. What is love? What does Paul have to say about love, specifically in 1 Corinthians 13?

And it's been hugely helpful. We've heard from a lot of people that this has helped clarify some misunderstandings that people have had about what love is. Right.

We went to 1 Corinthians because, you know, chapter 13, Paul gives us an extensive definition or lists out the attributes of love, divine love. So you say, well, no, but there's a difference between romantic love and divine love. Right. But if your romantic love doesn't have the divine kind of love, then what kind of love do you have?

Right. Lustful love, you know? So this should be undergirding your romantic love towards your spouse, your significant other.

Yeah. I love that. I love that paradigm too, because, you know, infused into how we express romance or how we express, you know, different kinds of love. They're talked about friendship, things like that. There's this undergirding, just like you said, this, this foundation of divine love that sort of is like the, I guess, either the foundation or the umbrella, however you want to think about it, that encapsulates everything we're talking about. Well, it's just like what it's, it's like, what are you arguing for? That we remove God from our, this, this godly definition of love. Let's remove that and have this different love over here for marriage, but you've taken God out.

So what's good in your new definition? Right. Like where, where does the good come in if we remove this godly love?

Right. And it just becomes either lust or attraction, you know, you just attract to that person because they meet your needs. But you and I know that love is much more than that in a marriage setting. It's about being sacrificial towards each other, willing to lay down your life for each other, just like Christ laid down his life for the church. So also the man should be towards his wife. And also the wife's, she needs to make sure that she respects her husband, just like the church, you know, looks up to Christ or honors Christ. So also the wife should be to the husband. So yeah, romantic love needs to have the undergirding of divine love.

And so in first Corinthians 13, verse four, we get the definition. Love suffers long and is kind. Love does not envy. Love does not parade itself, is not puffed up. Love does not behave rudely, does not seek its own.

Now comes the next one, which is love is not provoked, thinks no evil. Now let's go back for a moment and think about the audience or the members of the first Corinthian church. Who were they? Remember we talked about them, they were army veterans. They were freed slaves. They were some ethnically Greek people. Then there were some business people. Then there were some also just, you know, people of just poor class. So imagine being around a group like that. There's a lot of, how do I say this, provoking happening.

There's a lot of, you know, just jabbing one another that is taking place. Some maybe jokingly, which is fine to an extent, but some may not be as jokingly as being like, yeah, you know, like there sits a freedman and there sits an ethnically, you know, Roman or ethnically Greek person who used to have slaves or still has slaves. So this freedman is making some remarks towards the slave owner church member. He's like, it must be nice to still, you know, order people around. And then the slave owner church member kind of remarks, he's like, you know, you used to behave well when you were, you know, you had some shackles on you, didn't you? Or something like that. Who knows what they were saying? Kind of subtle jabs. Yeah. People behave well when they have shackles on or something.

Who knows? It's one of those things where people always are going to bring themselves into the church. They're always going to bring like their baggage or their worldviews that have to be corrected or filtered out. And a lot of people, like you said, like these guys are not doing a good job of doing that.

Hence, Paul says, love is not provoked. If you do this mirror reading, mirror reading has its weaknesses. John Barclay did a research on that. Nije Gupta has done some work on it.

If you ever want to read their articles. But mirror reading does have some benefits. And this is one of those benefits where by back reading it, the word is paruksenetai, which means to irritate and exasperate someone. Do you want to give us just a really quick 10 second definition of what mirror reading is? Mirror reading is when you read the text in the Bible and then ask the question, why was this given? Could it be that it was addressing a situation in the church? So when Paul says, love is not provoked, was somebody provoking somebody or was somebody being provoked and went to the church pastor or leader and say, look, this guy keeps making remarks against me and it bothers me and I'm about to lose my temper. Love is not provoked. That's not mirror reading.

Much more than just Paul dropping something in there. It's the heart behind it. It's the situation into which it was written.

And that's the weakness also of mirror reading is that sometimes you can depend too much on the situation. Hence it was written. What if it's just being declared in the spirit of the Holy God?

You know, the Holy Spirit is inspiring them to say this. Okay, that could be. But I also believe it could be because there was someone who was exasperating somebody else. When I'm talking about provoking people, I think it's one of those things. It's one of those very childish things. And I mean that as like little kids do this.

I did this as a kid. I did it as a teenager too, where you would provoke someone, you would just kind of jab them. You would kind of just needle them a little bit, but it's never like full on in your face, like bullying, like where everyone can see it. You just jab them a little bit here at a time until when they finally blow up, they look like they're the ones overreacting.

It's a very subtle way of getting under someone's skin and then turning it to make them look like they can't handle their emotions or they're overreacting in some way. It doesn't say love does not provoke. It says love is not provoked.

So we need to keep that in mind. But I think you can also make a case for love does not provoke. If you love somebody, why would you want to jab them?

Why would you want to provoke them? But at the same time, if you are always complaining that someone provokes you and that you do what you do because they made you do it, love is not provoked. So it's more like, I guess, love allows you to drop your guard. A love allows you to kind of trust people and let your guard down in a way.

Sure. And the counterpart to that in the same line, that's just like each of these attributes, like love suffers long and it's kind. Love does not envy. Love does not parade itself is not puffed up. So also here, love is not provoked, thinks no evil. The word or verb really for think is logizomai. And it has some layers of meaning, but it can mean to count or to evaluate.

Just like Paul says in Romans 6-11, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord means think and mull over the fact that you are dead indeed to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. So in some ways you need to keep in mind that love does not sit back and think or contemplate how to do evil. Because what you did, I'm going to do this. It gives way to a victim mentality where you're always on your guard. You're always trying to even counter plot or trying to plot some defense or some retaliation to some slight that really hasn't even happened. It's just happening in your mind.

That's what I was going to say. It seems like a mindset of retaliation, like because you did this, I'm going to do this. And I'm justified because you made the first infraction against me.

Yeah. So it means that you focus a lot on the evil you see in your neighbor. And second, it also means that you pay a lot of attention to the evil done to you by your neighbor. So it's got a little bit of both in it. It's like giving negative value to something where there is none. It's like putting too much emphasis on these either imagined slights or slights that really aren't as big a deal as we think they are.

But I love being the victim and I love complaining against you or complaining against someone else or having someone feel sorry for me. Now Paul brings this up and talks about it. We talked about mirror reading, but when you go to Corinth and I've been to Corinth, there are several places where they have inscriptions. People left their writing just like they do today, like a little plaque here and a plaque there.

This culture, especially the Greco-Roman culture was known for bragging about the things they did. So when you go to the Agora, which is a marketplace, there is a monument known as the Babias monument. I stood in front of it.

I actually climbed on top of it and even filmed from there. And what is very interesting is the inscription on the band above the columns. It says this, Neius Babias Philinus Adele and Pontifex had this monument constructed at his own expense and he approved it in his official capacity as Duovir.

Now what is he saying? Now there are many, as I mentioned, there are many monuments in the ancient world just like this and some are actually found in Corinth, but there are several things he's telling us that tells us who he is. First, his name is a slave name. Neius is a slave name. Apparently he was a freedman who rose to power and became an Adele. Adele means a city manager. His job was to maintain the roads, supervise the food and water supply, organize the games, local games, among other things. He was telling those who were looking down on him for being a former slave that I am no longer a slave.

I am the city manager. Show me some respect. But it doesn't stop there because his title goes on and says Adele and Pontifex.

Pontifex means a priest, probably to the patron god of the Isthmian games. So he was telling those who might be treating him like an outsider is that, hey, I'm also the priest. I've got some authority now. I have authority here. Yeah.

And you better show me respect. Then he adds another line to it. That wasn't enough.

And kind of interesting. Had this monument constructed at his own expense. It means nobody paid for this. I paid for it. You see what he's saying? He's like building a defense in case anybody would ever attack him or say, you're using the city funds or you're using some money that doesn't belong to you to build this monument.

Exactly. Here's my past. Here's my status.

He's defending himself against something that someone hasn't said yet. Here's my reputation. Here's my occupation.

Here's my, I'm the one who was behind building this monument out of my own money. I mean, it's sort of an airtight look at me. We do that, though. We do that. We imagine the slights that people will bring against us and then go ahead and start defending for them publicly before anyone's even said anything. Yeah, that's true.

I think we as human beings do that. And he even adds one line. The final line is, and he approved it in his official capacity of Duovir, which is chief magistrate. So, you know, someone must have said, you know, once this guy is gone, once Neas Babi is gone, we're gonna take it down. Nobody's gonna stop this.

So what he's saying here is don't even think about it. I am the chief magistrate now, and I will prosecute you. Oh, wow.

To the, you know, the extent of the law. Yeah. And it's still there to this day? Yeah. They're still scared of him.

This sounds like not only is he anticipating being provoked, but he's also maybe kind of like preemptively provoking. Yeah. Hey, I'm the guy. Make sure you remember that.

And even if I'm not in office, you're not gonna take this down because of X, Y and Z. Yeah. I think about it in a marriage setting, in a friendship setting, in a church setting, this kind of behavior happening. You know, the humble bragging, the, you know, name dropping and things like that. They're simply meant to provoke you and make you feel small. And that is for one, not love. But if somebody is doing that to you, don't fire back. Yeah.

There's, there's a lot of that you see, I think, especially like we were talking about in the context of the church. You just always say, well, you know, he didn't, you notice he didn't even come over here and say good morning to me. That's fine. Cause next week I'm going to do, I'm going to on purpose do the same thing to him. Or, or, you know, well, you know, that they, they, they, they sat in our spot where they know we sit, they know we sit there or they, they showed the new couple to come sit in our spot.

That's okay. We'll go sit in their spot. It's like, we're, we're putting intention where there may be none. Yeah.

Yeah. Well, you know, how are we to love others? You were bought at a price. Do not become slaves of men. In other words, stop giving into their opinion and the treatments of others. Don't become a slave of men. So don't let them, you know, kind of goad you and, and, you know, provoke you.

You have a choice and you can, you can stand on your own two feet and say, no, I'm not, I'm not going to get into that argument. Yeah. There's another inscription kind of interestingly, it's of a man by the name of Erastus.

Okay. And you find it in, in in Corinth. The only problem is I didn't get a chance to see it.

It was, it was such a busy time for us. So I did not get a chance to get over there and see that. But that inscription is, is very interesting because let me see if I can find that, the exact statement on it. It says, Erastus in return for his position as Adale. Remember Adale means a city manager. Erastus in return, in return for his position as Adale laid the pavement at his own expense. So again, he was a former slave.

Erastus is, is a, is a former slave name, became the city manager, but he's also sending a message to his critics and saying, you think I use the city money to do that. Look at this inscription. I didn't do that. And any of you, if you have the guts and try to, to, to accuse me of this, you know, I'll see you.

I'll see you in court or whatever. So what does that have to do with our lesson today? Because Paul actually mentions his name. Was he part of the Corinthian church? Erastus? Yep.

Romans 16, 23 Erastus, the treasurer of the city greets you. And it's talking about Corinth. Wow. Huh. So this is the same Erastus who put down that inscription on the ground in Corinth. Wow. Yeah. Because when you compare the timeline, which we don't have time to do that, but just take my word for it. When you compare the timeline to see when that inscription was laid down and when Paul wrote this letter and included that statement of Erastus, it's one in the same. Wow.

And it says right here, he is the Adale, he is city manager and he calls him the treasurer of the city. Same thing. That's wild. This like extra biblical source proving what's in the Bible. This, this same person mentioned. Yep. Now here's the question.

If Erastus got saved and he was such a good man, godly man, enough to be mentioned in the Bible, why do you think he did not go up and pull that inscription up and say, you know what? Enough is enough. I don't need, I don't need to prove anything to anybody. That's a good point. I have an answer.

Oh. I believe in some ways, okay, this is just sanctified imagination. So just don't, don't look for it, any commentary or ancient sources, you're not going to find it. In my imagination, one day Paul and Erastus are walking through the agora and they came to that inscription on the ground. It was filled with bronze, you know, and fastened with lead and Erastus must have said to Paul, Paul, every time I look at it, it reminds me of where God has brought me from. That's how I used to think and live. Always telling the opponents how great I was and how I had climbed the ladder of success and power, but now walk on it and I remind myself that God has called the foolish, the weak and the basings of the world so that the, so that no flesh should glory in his presence.

I'm walking on it. Again, it's just sanctified imagination. Well, I mean, that's a good point though. Cause I mean, you think about even today, like it's so easy to erase or to try to erase our past, you know, and it's... And most people would try to. Yeah. Yeah. Just I'm ashamed of that stuff, but I have the power to completely take it down.

It takes a different type of person to say, you know, I'm gonna leave it up as a reminder of where God has brought me from. Yeah. Yeah.

So that I can look at it and I can see how far I've come or how far God has brought me. I should say. Yeah. He was a changed man. Erastus was a changed man.

If not, why would he be included in the Bible? Right. Right.

Beautiful. Love is disarming in a sense. It doesn't, it doesn't seek to provoke and it isn't provoked. It's creates a place where we can relax and be at peace. And trust, you know, and trust that others have our best interest at heart. I think that's one thing I really respect about you, Dr. Shah, is that we've, you've created a culture here where, you know, the team trusts each other. When we help, or we criticize, or when we bring up constructive criticism or we work together on things, there's always with a trust that we have each other's best interests at heart. We are always trying to make the other person a better person. And I think that that trust is what's, is what's contributes to our love. Makes us special, makes us different. And, you know, love is not some mysterious, mystical feeling.

It is a list. It's not easily provoked. Does not think evil. You know, so you want to love somebody? Don't, don't stop blaming them for provoking you and stop thinking evil things that you can do back to them to pay them back.

Don't do that. That's awesome. If you guys enjoyed today's topic or you have suggestions for future topics, let us know by sending us a text at 252-582-5028. You can also visit us online at and you can partner with us financially on that same website.

Every gift that you give goes not only to building up this radio show, but countless other ministries for the kingdom of God. That's right. We got a question in from Ashley S. I think they heard our intro that we did a couple of days ago on what the best sauce for fries is. Okay. Cause Ashley S. from North Carolina writes in and says, let me pull it up right here. Uh, another good question. Who has the best fries?

Oh, okay. Who has the best fries? I'm going to say this. I'm going to say it and I know I'm going to catch flack for it, but I think Dr. Shaw would agree with me. I think it's Burger King, man.

I agree. I think it's Burger King. Burger King and the nineties and early two thousands Burger King had bomb fries.

Then they kind of went off the rails. I think they're coming back. My personal favorite is a, I do love a Chick-fil-A waffle. I love them. They're unique. I mean, you can't, you're not gonna get them anywhere else, but I am a big fan of Burger King fries.

So how about you? Oh, Burger King for sure. I think Burger King.

How about in the guys in the back? I don't like Burger King. Uh, so I'll have to go with problem. Yeah. You got a problem.

David, we just talked about how love as soon as we end this episode, you're going to have a bigger problem. Wow. Um, five guys. Okay. How about you, Nick? Cause I have good friends.

How about you, Nick? I'd say a Chick-fil-A fries. I guess Chick-fil-A wins. Chick-fil-A is good. Of that style of fry though, that little, what are they called? The matchstick or like single cut fries or whatever.

Just straight cut. I think Burger King is the best of that style. I do like Chick-fil-A by the way. Yeah, Chick-fil-A is good. Very good. I want some French fries. We love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clearview today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-09 10:10:43 / 2023-02-09 10:24:01 / 13

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