The Devil Is In the Details

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One of my favorite things to eat is deviled eggs.  They are a pain to make.  You have to boil the eggs, then let them cool, then peel them, then cut them, then take the yellow of the yoke out, mixed the filling, refill each egg, and then let them cool.  That’s a lot of work, but they are delicious.  Like Forrest Gump and chocolates; I could eat a million and a half of these.

How about that name?  Who names a great egg recipe after the devil?  I can remember many church potlucks where they changed the name to “heavenly eggs.”  The goal was to match with a Bible-themed meal.  Dessert was always angel food cake, with a main course of shepherds pie.   For me this reminds me about how we try to Christianize every thing.

I remember growing up how it was evil for me to listen to anything other than Christian music, and I was doing a disservice to Christian movie people by not watching Christian movies.  How often have we heard that we should choose Christian businesses, over “secular” businesses?  My question to them is, what is the people running the “Christian” business offer terrible service?  Am I called by God to support them just because they place a Jesus fish on their business card?  Not in my opinion.

My dad is an excellent example of this.  When he recommitted his life to Jesus years ago; he wanted to make an effort to support fellow Christians.  Feeling that all of God’s people should stick together, and he felt that it was the right thing to do.  What he started to notice was those who used the cross as a means to sell were some of the worst in their field.  People use the name of Christ as a selling point.  What my dad ended up finding out was that people who put the word “Christian” before the type of business they did was a mark of poor work.  Today, if if sees a “Jesus fish” on a business card, to him it is a read flag meaning stay away.  In fact, my dad does not have anything on his business related to Christ, but when people ask him why he does such great work, he uses that as a window to share the gospel.

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.  – Matthew 5:14-16

Notice when Jesus said you are a city on a hill, He did not say,

  • You need a big billboard.
  • You need a cross on the roof of your car.
  • You need a Jesus fish on your card.
  • You need an airplane with a banner attached to it that says, “Jesus Saves! John 3:16.”

Jesus said let your good deeds shine.  I remember the couple I saw once at Applebee’s who gave a server a tract instead of a tip.  Who would want to hear the gospel at that point? (I wrote more details about this incident in my post, “Honesty Is Not Always the Best Policy) In order to be the city on the hill, we have to use our works to bring attention to our Father.  This doesn’t mean only tell about Jesus if they ask, but it means that in order for people to see us on the hill; we have to let the works show the light of the gospel.  Jesus used the healing of the sick to bring attention to the gospel.  People even said that Jesus was healing above and beyond.

As followers of Jesus, we need to do everything with excellence.  If you want people to see the amazing Savior you serve, give them something to look at.  I have to be the same way.  I don’t want to be know as a Christian teacher because I have a giant cross on my desk (and I don’t).  I want to be know as a Christian teacher because I strive to be the best, and I love all of my students no matter how much they frustrate me.  A follower of Christ desires to be the best not for the next big promotion, but because they want to bring glory to their Father in heaven.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God—even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. – I Corinthians 10:31-33

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