Monday, December 14, 2015

Your Own Thing?

Our illustration quote is from a site called Live Life Happy.  It grabbed my attention for several very possibly conflicting reasons.  Let's take a look.

We can go all the way back to Adam and Eve and still be able to make the same statement.  Or we can look at modern people and groups to see that it still applies.  If you pay attention to the news there are some situations we're all aware of, others not getting so much coverage. But we can see some real issues in our world.

There's a common denominator.  While some say they seek equality, all their behavior shows an "I want mine" attitude at the expense of someone else. Contrast that with those willing to suffer for their faith and we realize there's more than one way to define what a "strong person" is.

Society tends to define a "strong person" as someone willing to get what they can, cost be damned. On the other hand, we see Jesus and an obviously different definition of a strong person.  While I thought of this comparison, my pastor has been preaching a series of Christmas messages. Several of the verses from yesterday morning's sermon fit very well, here.  Along with some of his thoughts.

Micah 6:8  He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

Think about that verse.  The world shifts those a bit.
  1. Do whatever is necessary to get the results wanted.
  2. Do that, no matter what the cost to others, because
  3. the focus is on ourselves, our satisfaction, fueled by our pride.
God has a whole different take on that, doesn't He?
  1. Do justly -- giving the exact consequence of our decisions.
  2. Love mercy -- place mercy on a higher plane than justice, offering a better alternative option instead of the stark reality of justice.
  3. Walk humbly -- think of others as being important, thus tempering our words and actions with others in mind.  And, especially, with God in mind.
One more set of verses, in Jesus own words.

John 3:19-21  And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.   For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.   But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.

The world asks who Jesus is and if they really want to connect with Him, either as an example or in a spiritual relationship.  The church asks "What would Jesus do?", sometimes getting the answer wrong.  As Jesus says in John 3, the world hates spiritual light.  It exposes real motivations. Jesus Himself is the ultimate contrast.  He's the supreme example of those three requirements by the Father, from Micah 6:8.  There's more to be said on this subject.  And we'll continue on it, next time.  But there's plenty to meditate on, with what we've already shared.  I want us to temporarily halt here and consider these things.  What definition of a "strong person" do you want to live by?

No comments:

Post a Comment