Y O U N G P E O P L E ' S D I C T I O N A R Y O F S C R I P T U R A L • & • R E L I G I O U S T E R M S
This is a form of the word condescend which could be illustrated in this way. A 16
year old “condescends” to play baseball with his 10 year old brother. The teenager
knows that he can throw the ball harder, hit the ball further, and catch the ball far
better than his little brother. In short, the teenager knows he is a better athlete and
more skilled at playing baseball. But when he agrees to play ball with someone not
nearly as good, he “comes down” to his little brother’s level.
In the Bible it means to “be carried away” by some outside force or “to go along
with” someone of a lower social or work position in life. That’s how we most often
use condescend. A ‘negative’ example of condescend would like someone looking at
a homeless person and saying; “I’d never condescend to be friendly to that person.”
While it is true that we need to be very careful with whom we form friendships, we
also need to be careful of being proud just because we are better off than others.
Our Lord Jesus is the perfect example of true condescension—beautifully presented
in Phpp. 2. He is God, but condescended to become man, taking upon Himself the
form of a servant. During His blessed life, the Lord Jesus condescended to receive
and eat with sinners—those considered outcasts of the Jewish society of His day.
We always need God’s wisdom to know when and how to show true condescension
that is pleasing and honoring to our Lord. We must never ‘condescend’ to those who
want us to do something in disobedience to the Bible, God’s Word.
“Have the same respect one for another, not minding high things, but going along
with the lowly [“condescend to men of low estate”, KJV Trans.]: be not wise in your
own eyes” (Rom. 12:16, JND Trans.). This verse, of course, is speaking of our
relationships with true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, not of the unsaved.