October 29, 202
A few years ago, I read an article by Steve Higginbotham, (if you don’t follow his writing, I recommend you do as he offers very good devotional thoughts). He made a great point about consistency which I have included below. It did make me think of a couple of important points that I would encourage us to think about. First Steve’s point is a great reminder from what is something of a humorous story. Secondly It makes me think of two important and practical matters.
First we need to develop habits which will enable us to keep our relationship with God front of mind. It may be daily Bible study, family devotionals, regular prayer, dedicated participation in Church events. All of these can help us to faithfully live out our Christianity.
Second, we need to remember that people will look at us often judgementally specifically looking for failure. We should also remind them that we are not perfect but look to Christ to make us perfect. Further we are not claiming to be superior to others but uncompromisingly serve a God who is superior to all of creation.
Here is the story Steve shared.
A couple years ago I had the opportunity to make a trip to Israel. One of the places we visited
was the “Church of the Nativity.” This church building was erected over the alleged birthplace
of Jesus. As we walked through the facility, one of the men in our group quietly chuckled at
something that was said by another tourist. Immediately, one of the priests approached him
and threatened to throw him out if he continued to show disrespect in this “holy place.”
I found this priest’s rebuke to be rather ironic, because only months prior to our arrival, the
Greek Orthodox and Armenian priests that share possession of this church building got into a
brawl as they cleaned the building in preparation for their observance of the birth of Jesus.
Due to their brawl, several priests and police who tried to stop the fighting had to be sent to
the hospital. So while this priest lectured this man about “respect,” I couldn’t help but think
that this man, only a few months earlier, had engaged in a free-for-all at the same spot.
Well, it happened again. As December 25 approached in 2011, these priests got into it again,
throwing brooms at each other and beating each other with broomsticks and iron rods. Again,
their riot had to be broken up by police.
Allow me to make a point from this. We need to allow this story to remind us how in
congruent unholy actions are coming from those who are supposed to be holy. Oh, it’s easier
to see in others than in ourselves, isn’t it? The inconsistency of the actions of these priests is
glaring as we look on. However, let me remind you that our unholy actions are just as glaring
to our friends and family. God has called us to holiness (1 Peter 1:15-16). There is more to
being a Christian than just a single act of obedience which allows us to wear the name of
Christ. Those of us who wear the name of Christ must also give special attention to walk in the
footsteps of Jesus, and to guard our influence so that the world will not blaspheme.
Copyright © 2011, Steve Higginbotham. Permission is granted to copy these articles.