Meridian Star

August 17, 2013

From the shepherd's heart

By Dr. John A. Temple / guest columnist
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men

Colossians 3:23

You have heard a redneck’s famous last words, “Watch this!” Following this short, dramatic statement, some of the wildest things man has attempted occur: eating live goldfish, drinking beer until you pass out, drinking a bottle of hot sauce, skateboarding off railings and banisters and a thousand other scenarios.

    Usually, these moments of insanity occur because they are trying to impress someone. A young man with an I.Q. of 100 can be partnered with another young man with an I.Q. of 100 and together they will have a composite I.Q. of 50. Put them with two more young men and the I.Q. of the group might reach 25. It might make us think that stupidity is contagious. However, the real lesson is that trying to impress others is fruitless.

    After the crazy event is over and the performer is taken to the emergency room, the audience will move to the next entertainment. The laughter and jeering are not because of admiration, but because of amazement that someone could be so out of his mind as to try whatever it was.

    The words, “Watch this,” imply a desire to impress. Usually, it will not be the leader that pulls the stunt. It will be someone trying to prove himself for the crowd. The leader may encourage the effort but is too smart to be involved.

    As a Christian, the one I desire to impress is the Lord. I want him to see I desire to be approved though I am not everything I want to be. I do know the Lord will never ask anything from me that is meant to harm or make fun of me. If anything, the Lord is warning me when I am about to do something stupid, to, “Watch out!” “Slow down!” “Be careful!” “Think first!”

    Whatever we try to do for the Lord, we ought to give it 100%. “Whatever we do, do it heartily, as to the Lord.” The Lord may not desire to see me act crazy, but, He does desire to see me give all I have in what I do. Approval for half-hearted efforts is rare. It is when someone gives his all that he is worthy of praise, and the praise a Christian seeks is that of the Lord.

    The next time you feel like declaring, “Watch this,” say it to the Lord, not some fickle crowd. Do what he asks and give it all that you have. He will be your best encourager and will help you succeed. When you reach the end of a day trying to please the Lord instead of men, you will have less bruises and more satisfaction with the way you spent your day.

Bro. John