With so many conflicting messages out there today, how is anyone supposed to understand what proper behavior is? Everywhere you look, messages like: No Fear. Question Authority. Love Me. Princess. Diva. It’s all about Me. and dozens of other narcissistic, disrespectful, selfish, and degenerate messages are boldly emblazoned on clothing, billboards, television, bumper stickers, tattoos, and are even in the Sunday morning comic strip cartoons. Sadly, I think it’s safe to say that these are all signs of our time.
Respect. Reverence. Fear. Authority. Compromise. These words have become distasteful words in our current society. A complete lack of respect for self and others has led to massive amounts of violence – spousal violence, child abuse, workplace violence, stalking, acts of terrorism, rebellion against authority figures, hatred, and even bloodshed. This lack of reverence and respect toward our fellow-man is traced back to our outright lack of reverence and respect toward God. We address Him in casual, almost blasphemous ways – the Big Guy upstairs is a common one – as if He’s just some Jabba the Hut, lounging around just out of our reach, but making decisions about our future based on his current affinities. Some people, including some Christians, hold Jesus at arm’s length, like some great Genie in a bottle, and they only rub the bottle when they need help. Once they feel like they’re in control of things again they direct Him back into his holding cell until the next wave of disaster strikes. That’s not what God is all about. God is sovereign and he demands respect. Reverence for God means treating Him and his word with awe – not pulling him out when we’re in crisis mode and expecting him to act on our behalf and in our best interest.
People who don’t know Jesus often judge Him based on what they see in his followers. What do they see of Jesus in you?
“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16