Ask A PastorMay 4, 2016

By Rev. Syd Osenbaugh

The Healing Place (Nashville Assembly of God)

Standing out in a crowd is not the most comfortable option. Being part of what everyone else is doing can be reassuring, giving a sense of acceptance and belonging. However, there is danger in being part of a group that is not focused on the same goals as our own.

Recently, a picture posted on by a friend on Facebook caught my eye. A sea of black umbrellas were fulfilling their assignment to shield their bearers from the rain, with one bright red umbrella in their midst. The message on the picture was a quote from Booker T. Washington: “Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.”

Increasingly in today’s society there is pressure to be politically correct, to adapt to the changing cultural climate. At the same time, for the believer, there is a clear mandate from Scripture to stand unshakable in the midst of all that is being shaken. It is time for us to live life, a common thing, in a most uncommon way.

The challenge is to be people of the Word, standing strong and giving allegiance to our true Master, while allowing the light of Jesus within us to shine into the darkness of the world around us. Our focus is on a goal with eternal significance.

Paul introduced his treatise on love with these words, “And now I will show you the most excellent way.” Love is to be the hallmark of the believer’s life. We are told in the Bible the characteristics of love and often they are misunderstood. Love is patient, kind, does not envy or boast, is not proud. Love does not dishonor others, it keeps no record of wrongs, it rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and the list goes on. Nowhere in that list does it say that love condones sin, winks at wrong, turns a deaf ear to compromise, or allows destruction to reign in a friend’s life without confrontation. It requires great love, a genuine caring that sees beyond the immediate and considers the long term, to proclaim truth that brings correction.

Loving others constructively, being iron to sharpen their iron as Proverbs 27:17 declares, is not the common way of life anymore. Spurring one another on to love and good deeds, Hebrews 10:24, is definitely a departure from the politically correct norm. Galatians 6:1 instructs believers who see others caught in sin to restore them gently. It’s not about judging, but rather being loving enough to not let someone wander away from the truth and lose their hope of Heaven. If a person is drowning and we stand by, holding a life preserver and yet unwilling to toss it their way, we have missed the point of what God desires from us.

Political correctness is not a privilege that the true follower of Christ can afford. Let’s be believers who live life uncommonly. Let’s live out the love we have been shown by our Father.

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