Thursday, February 12, 2015
We’ve all heard, maybe even have known people who have taken a rap for a friend, and have paid a big price for it. That occurrence is not as rare as you may imagine. In fact, it started in the Garden of Eden with Adam, not only taking the rap for Eve’s disobedience and sin, he was foolish enough to join her as well. When God came looking for an answer, He did not go to Eve first, but to Adam and asked him, “have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from? (Genesis 3:11) We will never know on this side of Heaven how things may have been if only Adam had reacted differently, if he had refused to join her and would have told her something like, “Eve, what have you done? Do you realize you just disobeyed God and that He will now come looking for me to give Him an explanation?”
The sad truth is that we all know people who, like Adam, continue to take the rap for a friend or loved one who is clearly doing things God will never approve of. Many of these rap-takers are suffering with a bad case of blind loyalty and instead of recognizing that when we really love our friends and loved ones, we will always bring it to their attention when they do wrong or offend others. Some hesitate to bring a friend or a loved ones faults to their attention for fear their relationship will suffer, but loyalty and dedication to God and to the truth should be greater than any devotion we may have for a friend or a loved one. Jesus said in Matthew 10:28, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” I think we all know some rap-takers whose testimony and effectiveness in their service to God has suffered greatly merely by being associated with wrongdoers, and all their fasting, praying, and service to God will not get them off the hook. If people are convicted merely by being in the company of one who commits a crime, should we not expect others to convict us in their mind when we constantly associate ourselves with wrongdoers?
If we see a friend or a loved one, especially one who professes Christ, do or say something which is clearly wrong, may the Lord give us the courage and grace to speak up. When we do, we will really be helping them and will honor God in the process. The Bible says in Proverbs 27:6 that “the wounds of a friend are faithful.” The truth is we all need that kind of person in our life, one who will speak up and show us when we slip or slide. If we don’t have such a person, we should insert that petition in the top of our prayer list. I’ve had people like that in my life before and, to be honest, I really miss them because I don’t feel I have as many today. Instead of taking the rap for someone’s misdeeds, maybe it will be better if we rap them on the head for Jesus. And may we not get offended or huffy if and when somebody has to rap us on the head.
Memory verse for the week: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)