It’s getting harder to get my thoughts around what I’m supposed to believe about the American culture. Actions, on several fronts, have not gone along with logic. This week I read about the U.S. women's national team and other soccer teams who knelt before kickoff of their Olympic openers on Wednesday. According to the Olympic rules there are to be no protests. The teams were not penalized. I then read about the Norwegian women’s beach handball team being fined for refusing to play in bikini bottoms during a game in the sport’s Euro 2021 tournament. On the first example we are to support the American team protesting the country they represent, but then on the Norwegian team they broke the rules in protesting the objectification of the female body, but they still get fined. Today, I read where the ice cream company Ben and Jerry’s put out a statement on Monday that stated: continuing to sell products in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, territories Israel captured in the Six-Day War in 1967, “is incompatible with our values.” In other words the ice cream company that was started by two Jewish guys will no longer be selling ice cream to Israel. And really, did Subway not use real tuna in their tuna sandwich and still call it a tuna sandwich?
Does it seem like we are living in a parallel universe at times? How are we supposed to know what to believe and who to support if things keep changing and choices make no logical sense? No wonder people are so stressed out and tensions are high! We might not be able to figure out the thinking of some in this world but the only person we are accountable for is ourselves. Knowing what you believe and why you believe it is vital to a happy and content life. Paul likens the thinking of a person caught up in the pattern of this world to an unanchored ship. In Ephesians 4:14he says, “So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” In verse 11 he tells us how God uses leaders in the church to help us anchor our beliefs. He writes, “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,”
One of the reasons we have a number of misguide souls in the church is that they don’t take advantage of the years of experience and spiritual gifting of the leadership that God has placed in a healthy congregation. Christians are not to trust blindly, but they are not to discover truth solely on their own either. Too often we encounter people in the Church who push back on leadership decisions they don’t understand or don’t like. In most cases it’s because they don’t have the facts or history to understand the decisions and they don’t take the time to think the issue through. Instead of inquiring they make kneejerk reactions and go out on their own, only to be disappointed at how things turn out. In each of the culture cases referred to earlier; those decisions sound good at the time but they don’t factor in the destructive effect their actions could have down the line to any number of people involved. At the end of the day, think things through, seek out and listen to advice. We will never get so old that we know it all and we can always learn something from the people God puts in our life. Realize too, that although you are accountable for your own actions, those same actions could have lasting effects on those who are around you! The world wants to put us in competition with each other, but God has built us to learn to relay on one another. Trust and learn from those that God has within your scope of influence.
The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty. Proverbs 22:3
Serving the Savior,
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