“Whoso is partner to a thief hateth his own soul…” (Proverbs 29:24)
To “diss” someone is to speak critically or disrespectfully to him or her. And the prefix “dis” negates or reverses the word attached to it. For instance, to disjoin is to become separate, no longer joined. One preacher of yesteryear I sometimes read after has suggested that “dis” is the great thief, stealing the joy from good things in life. Here are several that come to mind:
When we discourage someone, we rob him or her of something desperately needed if one is to survive an ever more frightening world: courage. We may think we’re only making him or her face reality or saving them from being disillusioned, but in many cases, we’re only instilling gloom and fear of the untried.
Dishonoring the truly honorable does not steal their honor, but it does chip away at any honor of which we ourselves may be worthy. Jesus told the Pharisees of His day, “[Y]e do dishonour me”; and Paul tells us that engaging in illicit sex is to dishonor one’s own body (Jno. 8:49; Rom. 1:24).
When you or I avoidably disappoint others to which we have a moral or pre-arranged obligation, we have snatched away any hopes or anticipation they may have placed in us. When this happens repeatedly, the loss is irreparable.
I could go on, of course, but I think I’ll just say that perhaps these, and other “dis-virtues” you or I may display come from our own discontentment. We have allowed old Satan to steal our contentment in the Lord, and this has discolored all of life. Wouldn’t you say it’s true that most of the time when we’re lacking in spiritual graces it’s because there’s little grace in our own hearts? I know that’s true in my own life. Disobedience in our hearts will always translate into disapproval of others.
I agree with the old preacher: “Dis” is the great thief. What has it stolen lately from you…or me?