There will always be those whose intention it is to make fun of Jesus, and the favorite way of the world to do that is by portraying His people as foolish and unwise. (The snake-handler preacher who died last week, case in point.) In these times when many believers feel that they must reflect society at least a little to attract unbelievers, being a standard has become as old-fashioned as the words “being a standard.” And in many churches the desire to “avoid even the appearance of evil” has all but disappeared from the lexicon in the church’s quest to ‘keep it relevant’.
I think we sometimes forget that we serve a Holy God, and we should be as protective of His reputation as He is of ours. In these times when the world is looking for a scapegoat, believers are increasingly targeted as uneducated fanatics who can be whipped into a frenzy at the drop of a hat, which, unfortunately, invites ridicule instead of reverence, disdain instead of devotion. Just as God IS Love, the Enemy IS Hatred. He hates everyone, those that follow him and those who follow Christ. But there’s something the Enemy does love–portraying Christ-followers as man-on-the-street fools.
If we are really serious about making Jesus not just Saviour but Lord of our life, we must examine our hearts constantly to make sure our words and our motives are pure “as silver tried in the furnace of the Lord, purified seven times.” That’s a tall order for those who take seriously what the Word says about being accountable for every word we have ever spoken. I think what we sometimes prefer to forget is that we also will be held accountable for what we did not say, especially when we knew the nudge to speak came straight from the Holy Spirit .
It’s all or nothing with Jesus. He won`t have it any other way. The hardest thing God has ever called me to do went something like this. “I screwed up, God–totally blew it. I need You to help me turn it around.”
And He did… He turned it around for good–for His glory and His glory alone, He said. And all I got out of it was this peace, this incredible peace–the peace that comes only from a broken and cleansed heart.