God’s people had simply become too wealthy and they were proud of it. They felt they had earned it. The women’s obsession with expensive clothing and jewelry, with the self-centered cultivation of their beauty, showed in their facial expressions, in their strutting and flirtatious walks and looks, and were products of an upper class that had never known hard times and hard work. Somehow, they simply “deserved” it all.
God promised them punishment suitable to their attitude—diseases that would rob their good looks, the indignity of baldness and stink, and horror of horrors!—not a thing to wear! Their craving to be noticed would not be satisfied, even if they begged men to take them in, promising to see to their own needs instead of expecting support from him. Do you see what really mattered to them? The attention of man instead of God; the carnal pleasures of life rather than the spiritual blessings of being a child of God. High maintenance women indeed—a man could work himself to death and not satisfy a one of them.
You see them in the church all the time—high maintenance members—and, in my experience, most of them are women.
Every need is an urgent need to this drama queen. She demands more visits, more phone calls, more cards, more mention from the pulpit, in the announcements, in the bulletin, on the webmail, than any ten other people combined. And what she gets seldom satisfies her. Instead of telling you how many have visited or called, she will greet you with a list of all who have not. In fact, she will always call attention to herself when others are mentioned, even if their need is obviously and by far more than hers.
She is never content, and will carry a list of wrongs against her that goes as far back as her childhood, and mention them whenever the opportunity arises. Forgive and forget, or simply letting something go, as in “love covers a multitude of sins,” is not in her repertoire.
She is especially conscious of status—all of “those people” have it and she doesn’t. And because “they” look down on her, everyone is against her or “has an agenda.”
She resents authority, particularly when it tries to correct her, and is highly critical of others. She will judge your motives as surely as if she dwelt inside your heart, and dare you to question her conclusions about them. She will even tell you what you would have done in any given situation—whether you know what you would have done or not.
If you want her to remain a Christian you have to hold her hand in every situation, comfort, console, pray for, talk to, and serve her every minute or she simply won’t make it—and it will be all your fault! And by the way, don’t you ever expect any of the same help from her. It isn’t her “talent.”
No, you don’t have to be a luxury lover to be high maintenance. All you have to be is self-centered and shallow, with all the wrong priorities and a sense of entitlement.
These people, men and women, think they are unique and that only God can really understand them. They think one of these days He will come and show everyone else who is really in the right. He didn’t do it for those proud women of long ago. Why should He start now?
What these high maintenance people really need is a good dose of Philippians 2: Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Be careful, ladies. It is far too easy to fall into this bad habit, especially as wealthy and luxury-conscious as we have become in this culture. And we are oh, so good at it.