I remember my senior year in high school. We had so much fun without near the stress we have in life. One of our projects was to come up with a play. We decided to have something including space creatures that went on an adventure. We took Zach’s VW bug and covered it in tinfoil. We put all sorts of decorations on it. We then had to come up with our own costume.
I of course had to come up with something extreme. So I decided to shorten myself by tying up my legs and walking on my knees. This was of course brilliant but I couldn’t walk fast enough to keep up with everyone else to a couple of guys just picked me up and walked while my little legs just kicked in the air. It was fun and people enjoyed it. Until a few hours later when I tried to straighten my legs, it just about killed me with incredible pain.
That was a show and we had fun putting on the show. It wasn’t reality, nor was it meant for anyone to think it was real. It was for fun. Society has migrated into making fictitious a reality where they are blending life with reality shows. I quit watching T.V. as I’m trying to live my own reality show. I don’t have the space in my head to take on other people’s drama and circumstances. These shows create false expectations, false hopes, false fears and false dreams.
Other shows people put on are by dressing a certain way. They have to be trendy, have flash or look exceptional seeking a wow factor. They have to do certain things to make them look higher. Sometimes they aspire to the motto of faking it until you make it. People try to be your friend for what they can get. Sometimes you may try to be someone’s friend for what you can get. There is a mentality which places people under bondage to try and keep up with the “Jones”. If someone has something nice are we tempted to covet it? Are we embarrassed for actions that might not make us look perfect? When we put on a show, it creates depression, severs relationships, and takes away our peace and joy.
Notice the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke chapter 10. The “well to do” individual was challenging Jesus to explain or define exactly what a neighbor was. Jesus, instead of defining the word neighbor spoke in a parable. He went on to describe how a man was laying in the gutter after having been attacked by robbers. A priest saw him lying there and went to the other side of the road. A religious church member saw him lying there and avoided him as well. A Samaritan who was traveling saw him and put him on his donkey. The Samaritan then took him to a hotel where he paid for his food and lodging. He told the owner if the man needed more to charge it to him. This is the definition of a neighbor in spite of any embarrassment or financial consequence it may bring.
Jesus also mentioned in Luke 21:1-4 (MSG), “Just then he looked up and saw the rich people dropping offerings in the collection plate. Then he saw a poor widow put in two pennies. He said, “The plain truth is that this widow has given by far the largest offering today. All these others made offerings that they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all!”” Another take on the widow’s mite was discussed in Mark 12:41-44 (MSG) “Sitting across from the offering box, he was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins—a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, “The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all.””
The bible stories sound great until it is time to live what we read. Peter loved Christ until he thought he may lose his life for it. Just as Peter turned it around later and paid the ultimate price, we are to risk our reputation to do the right thing. We are called to give our all. Nothing on this earth belongs to us. We are stewards. Who are we trying impress, God? The following verses in Luke 16 (NIV) are profound:
8 “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. 9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?
13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Why is there an indescribable desire within us within us to boast to another? Consider how the devil continues to work and try to destroy our lives. This sin nature starts when we are kids. Society promotes the behavior to get desired behaviors. How many times have you heard a parent or someone else ask a child to act like “Johnny” because they are being good? James 3:13-18 (AMP) says, “Who among you is wise and intelligent? Let him by his good conduct show his [good] deeds with the gentleness and humility of true wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be arrogant, and [as a result] be in defiance of the truth. This [superficial] wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly (secular), natural (unspiritual), even demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder [unrest, rebellion] and every evil thing and morally degrading practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure [morally and spiritually undefiled], then peace-loving [courteous, considerate], gentle, reasonable [and willing to listen], full of compassion and good fruits. It is unwavering, without [self-righteous] hypocrisy [and self-serving guile]. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness (spiritual maturity) is sown in peace by those who make peace [by actively encouraging goodwill between individuals].”
The joy is in the silence, the gift is in the not knowing, the blessing is in the secret. 1 Peter 2:9-17 (MSG) states, “But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.
Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.
Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God’s emissaries for keeping order. It is God’s will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you’re a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.”
You be you and I’ll be me. Be who you are because you are somebody. Pursue your God given purpose only you can fulfill. God doesn’t waste His time making junk. You are not junk. You are special because of who you are and we all love you for who you are.
Philip Lukens is the senior pastor of the Carr Community Church. To receive updates please enter your e-mail address below and click subscribe.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.