~ Pulpit Ponderings ~
I received the following from a dear friend and it caused me to think of how we Christians fall victim to our social norms.
we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with
us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth
records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as
having cultivated such valuable lessons as: “Knowing when to come in out of the
rain;” “Why the early bird gets the worm;” “Life isn't always fair;” and “Maybe
it was my fault.”
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (“don't spend more than you can earn”) and reliable strategies (“adults, not children, are in charge”).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't
defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; “I Know My Rights,” “I Want It Now,” “Someone Else Is To Blame,” and “I'm A Victim.”
While this may offend some of you, that is not my purpose. We all become enticed into thinking of ourselves and not others. Sure we give to missions and sure we speak out against injustice – but, how do we really feel and, more importantly, how do we act? Only God knows that and only he will judge us.
Despite Christ Jesus living among us he was not of this world – he was of another. Everything about him was of another. “Jesus said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place’ ” (John 18:36). Jesus was telling us that what we have here on earth is not as important as what we will have in his kingdom and we should be living our lives focused on that. Jesus is king but one whose kingdom is not of this world. It is a tragedy when we fail to recognize the truth. It is a greater tragedy when we recognize the truth and fail to heed it.
But what of all these great things that God has provided for us. Of course God wants us to enjoy what he has provided for us all throughout his creation or he would not have provided it – but not to enjoy it at the expense of others, and not to over indulge, and not to think that we must have the answers to everything. “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight” (1 Corinthians 3:19a). We are not being told to neglect the pursuit of knowledge. However, we are being warned that if worldly wisdom holds us back from god, it is not wisdom at all. God’s way of thinking is far more valuable, even though it may seem foolish to the world. We use worldly wisdom to evaluate our teachers and leaders and this causes them to fail in God’s eyes. This stems from our worldly pride because it makes us value the presentation of the message more than the content of the message.
We are so blessed to be Children of God. We should be humbled at the very thought that he loves us so much that he sacrificed his son for our salvation – and without asking for anything in return. I know many of you are and I also know there are many of you who are struggling with all this. Just remember, that God loves you forever.
Blessings to all of you, as you continue to believe, have hope, and do the work of the Lord.
As Always – In His Grip …
Shalom Aleichem (Peace be unto you)…Buddy
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” – Isaiah 52:7