I Promise You, This, That and The Other Thing
Posted on October 2, 2019 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.” — Matthew 6:1 (NASB)
It is something we get sucked into every time it comes and it shows up earlier and earlier every time it wants to be noticed…the presidential election cycle. That’s right boys and girls it’s time to vote for either this president or someone else who thinks they’re better than this president. Oh goodie!! Anyway…there is a scene from Gilligan’s Island (for those of you who remember that show) that I believe really depicts what my ear hears whenever a politician gets in front of people and speaks.
In an episode titled, “The Little Dictator”, our hapless hero, Gilligan, is being groomed by the recently exiled dictator of the South American Republic of Ecuarico, Pancho Hernando Gonzalez Enriques Rodiguez to become the next “El Presidente” after Pancho Hernando, blah, blah, blah has been tricked into emptying his gun of its ammo by the castaways. During a dream, Gilligan stands before his subjects and says, “Good People, I’d like to promise you, uh, just a second” he turns to Pancho and asks, “What should I promise them?” to which Pancho replies, “Promise them dis, dat, and the other ting.” Once Gilligan repeats that there is much applause. VIVA EL PRESIDENTE!!
Silliness aside, what we’re experiencing these days is an overload of folks getting in front of a crowd and redefining what is right and wrong by basically saying they’re the ones that practice righteousness better, sometimes based on the premise of “just because.” Well, I don’t mind being the bearer of Good News to these folks but when Jesus Christ got in front of folks as He delivered His “Sermon on the Mount” He basically debunked the idea that the allegedly righteous folks should blow their own horns. It boils down to this, “If you’re gonna be a show off it’s, ‘depart from Me I never knew ya.’”
The Sermon on the Mount is full of the toughest sayings of Jesus Christ. He took what centuries of misinterpretation did and flipped it back on track. “You have heard it said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ But I say to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matt 5:38-39). I’ll be honest will you, this isn’t one of my favorites and don’t ask why because it is pretty obvious. Deep within me, revenge can find a nice comfortable spot, settle in and grow into something bigger. Besides who is anyone to think that its absolutely a-okay to do bad things to me and just walk away as if it was nothing in the first place?! Indeed!!
Unfortunately, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth seems to be our current political climate and Christianity shouldn’t be sucked into it. Why? Because that’s NOT what we are called to do and our adversaries know it. That’s why we are being provoked into senseless debates about things that we should expect of Secularland. The stuff they praise as being right to do has been wrong for centuries and Christians are still find it hard to turn the other cheek. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have a strong voice in this present culture but the last thing we need to do is to go overboard by being radical in the wrong direction.
When I look at the 5th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel I don’t see where Jesus says, “I say to you…so you can make sure others are doing it” On the contrary, I see, “You’ve heard it said…but I say to you” and that’s the distinction, here renewing your mind so it transforms your heart. I kinda attribute what this all looks like to stuff we read in the Book of James. “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death” (James 1:14-15). So with that, be mindful that “first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:5).
Let’s just face this fact, a lot of politicians are gonna promise us “dis, dat and the ting” all day long and they’re gonna say stuff to appease the population of Secularland. Our job in this is to run what they say through the Cross of Christ and see if it a position we can agree with. If not, then vote accordingly but do so as, “everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the Rock” and not as someone who feels the need to cast the first stone. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Think About This: “We must meet the uncertainties of this world with the certainty of the world to come.” — A.W. Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. – Psalm 51:1-2
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article5 are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.