Somewhere in the dark recesses of my memory I hear an Irish comedian using that catchphrase…back when comedy used to be oh so simple…!
Last night I was reading through 1 Timothy and came across the following verse:
‘It’s true that moral guidance and counsel need to be given, but the way you say it and to whom you say it are as important as what you say.’ (1 Tim 1v8, The Message)
It made me stop and think for a couple of reasons – firstly that it’s very different to the other translations (which usually talk about the law being good if it’s used in the right way). I have to say I like the way Peterson looks at it…brings with it the inherent importance of how we communicate God’s love.
And that’s my second point. I had an email from someone yesterday with a sneering ‘these people died because they cursed God’ title…mostly a mixture of famous performers who at some stage in their life had been less than complimentary about God and had suffered painful and difficult deaths (because of their attitude, according to the email author!). The email was basically rejoicing in that…now, I have to say, call me a liberal but I’d struggle to rejoice in anyone’s painful death…
Obvious point coming…it seems to me that we have a message of grace, and therefore we should talk about it with grace. Not vindictiveness or cold arrogance but love…even for those who would throw it back in our face. I guess it comes back to the whole judging others thing – who are we to attempt to judge on behalf of God who or who isn’t in the club (faith!) ? I know I am probably too liberal in many things, but I’m just not sure that we’re (Christians) always the best judge of characters…perhaps we should leave that up to God. Yes, Christians need to tell the world exactly who God is and hold up his kingdom plan as an ideal for society to be based on…but we just don’t know everything…that’s God’s business.