Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
Proverbs 28:1 “The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.”
The other day I had either a lady bug or a Japanese beetle crawling on the inside window of my car. I opened the window and pushed it out. It dawned on me at that moment that I wasn’t sure what the difference was between a Lady Bug and a Japanese Beetle. I only know that some years ago I saw an increase in what I thought were Lady Bugs, but were actually Japanese Beetles. I found out they were invasive and liked to get into your home as winter started to come. They looked so much like a lady bug I couldn’t tell them apart.
When I was growing up, the Lady Bug was the one bug I would always pick up. They were not something we saw often. To me they were almost like finding a four leave clover they were such a novelty. I’d always pick them up and let them crawl on me. I didn’t like bugs but Lady Bugs weren’t like bugs. They were like cute little pets.
Then came along the Japanese Beetle. I thought they were lady bugs at first. I’d pick them up the same way. Then one day someone said to me, “See all those spots on that bug – there should be about 19 of them – that’s not a Lady Bug – that’s a Japanese beetle.” They are a nuisance bug and they smell if you crush them.” That was at least ten years ago and I haven’t held a Lady Bug since. His comments spoiled for me. I’ve brushed off every one I’ve seen concerned they might be a Japanese Beetle. Instead of learning to tell the difference between the two, I’ve treated both like a pest. That thought hit me the other day when I brushed away what I now know was a Lady Bug. Lady Bugs usually only have a few spots. Japanese Beetles are usually solid covered with spots. What I realized through this was that a lack of knowledge over this robbed me of the Lady Bug experience I would have shared with my granddaughters. I treated both bugs bad when only one was a nuisance.
The World does that with Christians. The media focuses on any Christian that has every been a poor example of one whether it be someone ministering on television or someone that calls themselves a Christian but has done something wrong or crazy. The world and the media try to paint pictures of all Christians being weird, crazy, or hypocrites. Forget the fact that people in the world get drunk or high, swear, watch or participate in illicit sex, and will lie, cheat, or manipulate to get what they want. As a matter of fact, I’ve just described the average prime time television show. They don’t care if they do all that. They don’t profess to be Christians so they don’t have to restrain themselves from this behavior. They just want professing Christians to be perfect and if they catch one making a mistake or blowing it by sinning, they blast that person as the devil incarnate and mock Christianity because of a few. Most Christians are good people. Most Pastors are good Pastors. Most television evangelists are Godly men that are not out for money. They take donations so they can reach more people with Christ’s love. Television costs are outrageously high.
Being a Christian is a decision to give your life over to Jesus as accept Him as your personal Lord and Savior. From that moment it’s a life long process of personal character transformation. People in the world don’t understand or get that. They just think, “You say you are a Christian so how can you be doing that?” “You’re a hypocrite!”
Christians can become a victim of the Lady Bug/Japanese Beetle syndrome. They are all lumped together as too hard to distinguish good from bad. The world tries to make us all look bad. This causes many people who are interested in Christianity to think of it like the Japanese Beetle. They don’t understand the difference and they brush it away. That has been a strategy of the devil from the beginning.
What I have been saying in this series is critical to take hold of. When you believe something strongly – when something becomes a true conviction and an anchor of your heart, it will guide your life. That is why you better have your beliefs anchored in true knowledge and fact. You better not get seduced by the world’s perspective and criticism of Christianity.
You think it can’t happen to you but it can. Jesus told us in a parable that there will be those who will be attacked for their faith and become embarrassed or offended and back away from what they believe. In Mark 4:16-17 Jesus said, “These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.” Some people are shallow and don’t know how to hold and live by deep conviction.
Don’t you become offended. Be the bold one who is the subject of today’s Fresh Manna verse. “The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.” Be a person that is working to walk out his/her Christianity the best they can. Be a person that is proud of your Savior Jesus Christ. Be a person that is proud to live moral and upright according to God’s Word. And when someone ignorantly attacks Christianity because of a Christian that doesn’t measure up, be bold and set them straight gently but with strength and moral fiber. Tell them Christians aren’t perfect – just forgiven! Tell them that most are like Lady Bugs even though there are some Japanese Beetles out there.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.