He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:3a

Monday, July 20, 2015

Funny Or Offensive?

         I was chatting with a friend recently about the different ways people display humor.  There are cute, corny jokes that take a moment to “get;” jokes that I never “get;” course jokes, which I loathe; and jokes that are just downright indecent and disrespectful. 

            My friend was sharing that a customer who comes in the store where she works, on April Fool’s Day gives out lollipops to all the staff that go well beyond decency!  She refuses to even accept the “gift” anymore, but on the first occasion while not keeping it, accepted it and then gave it to "Edna," another co-worker.  The co-worker accepted the “gift” and chided her friend for not having a sense of humor.   “I didn’t want it,” she said flatly.  “It’s totally disrespectful! 

Looking at me she added “And I don’t understand.  Edna is supposed to be a Christian!”

            Her comments made me stop and consider behaviors that, we as Christians, project that aren’t Christian like at all!  Our identity in Christ should set us apart and enable us to face temptation and the influence of sin.  I am in agreement with my friend that when something is offensive, indecent or disrespectful, then it can’t be Christ like!

            When we proclaim Christ as our Savior aren’t we telling the world we choose to be set apart?  Aren’t we choosing to be enslaved to Christ the Creator, rather than Satan the destroyer?  Isn’t what we do and say a reflection of that belief?

            There’s a church sign near me that displays the following, “Words are the mirror to the heart.”  That’s true since our words are our thoughts and our thoughts come from within our heart.  And then our thoughts and words are transferred into actions.

 I heard once who and how you are at home, out of public view, is really who you are.  That’s a little intimidating since I think of my home as my sanctuary where I can be who I am without any issue.  Yet, I wonder about that rationale.  Even when others can’t see my bad behavior, Christ still can!  Shouldn’t any bad behavior immediately convict me of sin? ……But then…..I suppose that would depend on your definition of bad behavior!  What one considers bad behavior isn’t bad at all to another; kind of like the obscene lollipop my friend described earlier.   Apparently, her chiding friend, although Christian, didn’t see it as sinful. 

A dear friend who would never think of swearing in public, especially in front of other Christians, doesn’t think twice about it when in her home.  Another friend admitted suffering from “road rage” and yelling, shouting and gesturing at other drivers his anger when he’s been cut off or sees bad driving.  Still another is quick to point out she cleverly removes as many “little sugars and creamers” she can when purchasing a cup of coffee at a store or restaurant and still another is quick to spit out a sharp retort when annoyed, “if it’s the right person!”

How do we decide what is sinful?  The Bible is the first place to look and there is plenty of scripture that makes it clear what is acceptable and what is not. Another way is prayer and asking honestly if Christ were here, would I share that “behavior” in front of Him or with Him?  Or, would I more likely tend to hide those things that I’m not sure about? 

A good rule of thumb is, if you have to hide it at all from anyone, there’s an excellent chance it’s unacceptable.  So I challenge you to consider your behavior.  Would you act the same way if Jesus were in the room?  The truth is……  He is……