DayBreaks for 11/04/14 – Thou Shalt Not Be Ridiculous
From the DayBreaks archive, 2004:
We tend to think of the 10 commandments as being the bedrock on which all laws and commands are based. And I suppose, in a very real way, that’s true. The everlasting principles of loving God, loving your fellow man, etc., are all encapsulated in those 10 little commands. But there were many, many other specific commands that are given in the Old Testament, but also in the New.
Consider this passage from the quill of Paul, the apostle, from Eph. 5:15-18 (NLT) – So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you.
For all intents and purposes, Paul could have said, “Thou shalt not be ridiculous.” I am always appalled by the way Christians are portrayed in the news media and the sound bites we see and hear over the airwaves. Nearly every instance is less than flattering – not necessarily because of what the Christians are saying, but how they are saying it and how they are acting. Just recently, I saw a news clip about a “Christian” in Korea (I think), who climbed into the lions enclosure to preach to them and save them. He said he felt called by God to do it. Well, suffice it to say, the lions didn’t convert and the man escaped with some mighty big fang marks in his leg. It is a ridiculous thing for him to have done. Anytime that well-meaning Christians don’t act in Christian ways, the message is lost in the ridiculousness of the behavior, and the cause of Christ is diminished in the eyes of the world.
But how can we reconcile the actions of those like Daniel, whose actions led him to the lions den? And what of his buddies, Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego? Were they being ridiculous, or courageous, in what they did? As John Ortberg noted in his book about walking on water, “The line between ‘Thou shalt not be afraid’ and ‘Thou shalt not be ridiculous’ is often a fine one and not easily located. Knowing when to get out of the boat and take a risk does not only demand courage; it also demands the wisdom to ask the right questions, the discernment to recognize the voice of the Master, and the patience to wait for His command.”
Much could be said on this subject, but I think Ortberg is right on track. Consider your lifestyle. Is the way you live and interact with others, the way you even hold out and defend your Christian beliefs – done in such a way as to make Christianity and it’s Christ attractive (in the right way – not in a compromising way), or are you just being ridiculous in how you attempt to take a stand for Christ? The preaching of the cross is foolishness to the world, but even we foolish Christians need to be wise in how we live so we can capitalize on each and every opportunity for doing good in an evil world.
Copyright by 2004 Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>
PRAYER: Thank You, Jesus, for being willing to be stricken so the “sheep” could be spared. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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