Saturday, January 14, 2006

Whatever You Do...

Even before running about the blogosphere today my head was filled with things to post about. I just wish my fingers could type as fast as I could think. Except most visitors would get bored long before I finished this post. I only use four fingers and sometimes a thumb on the space bar so this is (fortunately) not possible.

So what is it I think is the most important message I could post today? I saw it at Scotwise.

John Telfer Brown of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia has a wonderful blog filled with humor and spiritual messages that are short, sweet and to the point. Tomorrows message (he is on the other side of the date line.) is about worship. For those of you who disdain any mention of spirituality please hang in a few moments. It might give you some understanding about Christian thinking.

John quotes from the Apostle Paul:

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. - Colossians 3:17. (ESV)

Often times I hear Christians being called hypocrites but this is really not the word that describes the problem. Hypocrisy is defined: The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.

Christians profess a belief in Jesus which should translate into good behaviour according to the precepts Jesus taught. Hypocrisy or hypocrites is not the word that should be used concerning Christians engaging in bad behaviour. These words would really be the term to call someone who claims to believe something he doesn't with the intention of deceiving others. For example I once met a person asking for donations for 'the children'. He had a laminated card saying he was certified to collect money. (I'm a printer. We have a laminator at work. His card did not convince me.)

"What children?" I asked.

"The children in the church." (He saw me carrying a Bible)

I finally pinned him down and found out he was a Mooney. He knew before we started the conversation that I would not donate to his group. His verbiage was that of a true hypocrite set out to deceive for financial gain.

So what about the normal Christian you know. The man or woman at your work. Your barber or hairdresser. Neighbors across the street or the auto mechanic. Are their intentions to fool you about what they believe? In most cases I think not.

When the run of the mill Christian is being called a hypocrite what is really being said? Perhaps most of those using the word concerning these people are saying, "Here is another person that does not live up to the principles and standards set by Jesus' example." In other words, "A sinner".

And why is it they do not live up to those standards? Are the standards too lofty for man to reach? I think not. The real problem is that man (and woman) has a nature separated from God that wants to do it's own self centered thing instead of following that which God's Spirit leads him to do. The story of Jonah is a good example. In Christian terms it is called the 'fallen nature'.

Back to the original Scripture quote: And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

- - - Why is it some people feel torn because they know to do the right thing and either because of fear, anger, pride or some other emotion they fail to do it? Why is it that some people feel torn because they know they should not do the wrong thing but because of lust or greed or some other emotion they go ahead and do it. (Romans 7:15+)

The reason is because sometimes we are not following that simple piece of advice from Saint Paul. "whatever you do, in word or deed"

Worship is giving time and attention to something that is worth the time and attention. It comes from the Old English worth-ship = "to ascribe worth or value to something or someone." learning to live our lives with worship continually emanating from our hearts instead of just 1/2 hour on Sunday mornings will give us the ability to do "everything in the name of the Lord Jesus."

How can we do that? Start with a bit of thankfulness, add a song and let the joy that is resident in our hearts come to the surface. With a bit of practice the unbelievers around us will really go nuts...