Thursday, 18 May 2017

boldness before ridicule - Psalm 119.51

The arrogant constantly ridicule me, but I do not turn away from Your instruction. 119.51

Often what hurts most when people oppose our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, God and Risen Saviour is not that they reject the truth but the arrogant veneer of contempt that laces the words of many opponents of the truth.  It is the way they look down on those who believe in the virtues of simple child-like faith.  It is the arrogant assumption that their learning and alleged academic prowess is insurmountable, is unchallengeable.  They cry ‘fundamentalist’ as a way of shaming us and ending debate.  

We see it not just in conversation but in the media.  How often are Christians ridiculed on the TV? From the frankly insulting insinuations to the boringly predictable stereotyping of ministers in sitcoms.  Then you have the ‘look at these crazy people not living in the modern world and accepting the infallible truths of contemporary science’ kind of new reports.  

Such ridicule of good faithful Christians and the truth we hold so dear can be painful and hurtful.  On one level it should help to promote good interaction with others on our behalf.  As Christians we are called to be humble not arrogant.  How sad and tragic, indeed heartbreaking, that Christians are the ones people so often think are arrogant!  More importantly, we must be very aware of the power of ridicule to subtly undermine our own views and beliefs.  No one likes to be ridiculed which leads to the real temptation for us to ‘tone down’ our message or to bury it under a mountain of qualifications.

The call of Scripture is to be on guard against this and to not turn away from the instructions God has given us for all time.  Following instructions is not something which comes naturally to humanity.  Living a life fully submitted to the instructions of Scripture is a real battle.  Being broken like a horse must be broken if it is to be usable by the rider is an unpleasant but vital experience in the Christian lifeand an experience which must be a continual reality in our hearts.  

Let us pray that nothing outside of us, no words or sneers, no allegations or stupid comic sketches would ever turn us against the plain instructions we have been given.  Pray that the voices all around us would be drowned out by the crystal clear voice of the true King.

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