Monday, January 25, 2016
I saw a sports item on the internet early this morning that quite naturally caught my attention. It reported a story of a noted columnist and sports analyst who was suspended for disparaging remarks he made against a basketball announcer who was once an NBA coach. Among other things, he called the ex-coach a “bible-pounding phony” and “con man.” Let me be clear in telling you that I have absolutely no idea if the charges against this professing Christian have any validity whatsoever. If you have been paying any attention to the current presidential races and it’s candidate’s claims, you are familiar with the excessive slander that makes the news on a daily basis. None of these presidential hopefuls nor those who are incumbents already, are exempt targets, and while many charges against them may be true, most reasonable people will conclude that much of it is slander. The dictionary says that “slander” is “a false statement that causes people to have a bad opinion of someone.”
This morning’s item reminded me of Jesus’ words to His followers in His Sermon on the Mount, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14) The truth is that accusations, whether true or false, against any child of God are common. Once people sense we are Christians, and especially once we confess Christ publicly, the world will be watching our every move and marking our every word. And one thing that definitely does not help is that there are many “phony” professing Christians around causing many to believe that “all” Christians are like that. These are they who pretend to be super spiritual and go around passing themselves as superior to others. They are much more harm than help to the gospel. They are certainly not the type of people Jesus’ depicted in His Sermon on the Mount, in particular Matthew 5:2-9, as representative of God’s true children. Genuine believers are humble, quiet, tender-hearted, meek, merciful, pure in heart, and are peacemakers. Any person who generates strife just about every where he or she goes, cannot be considered a true Christian.
Therefore, it is important for us to ask God constantly to help us live in such a way that His name will be honored and not defamed. We may slip up here and there, but if and when we do, we can count on God’s help, mercy, and forgiveness to set us back on the right path. Lets not forget: the world is watching us.
Memory verse for the week: (Matthew 5:16) “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”