RSV Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves.
NKJV Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
I was watching an episode of The Andy Griffith Show the other day and I was stunned at the compassion and humanity they showed to one of the characters instead of crushing his soul into dust.
In this episode, Barney brags about his ‘pioneer skills’. Barney, Andy, and Gomer Pyle took the cub scouts camping. Barney being Barney he bragged about his great survival skills; tracking, trapping, making a fire, etc.
It soon became evident that he had none of these skills. He and, Gomer became; lost, hungry, and cold.
Some of the kids found out as well as one of the men from town who had driven his truck up to camp to deliver food cooked by, Aunt Bea. They all started talking about how they were really going to ‘give it to, Barney!’. They are gleeful at how they were going to confront him and tear him a part for bragging about skills he didn’t have. It was heart breaking. It would have crushed him and humiliated him. The whole town would have laughed at him.
Andy to the rescue.
Andy put a stop to all of that. He told the kids they were not to say anything to Barney about any of it. he then grabbed two chickens and ran off into the woods to find Gomer and Barney. He found Gomer first and filled him in on the plan. Instead of tearing down Barney, he wanted to affirm him!
Through a series of events they made it look like; the trap had worked, the fire started (with a little unseen help from Gomer) and they eventually found their way back to camp with Barney leading them in victory.
When Gomer and Barney returned to camp, Andy and the children were waiting for them with big smiles and back slaps. ‘congratulations, Barney you really DO have pioneering skills!’.
Andy made a choice to not crush Barney (i.e. call him out and humiliate him in front of everyone).
What can we learn from this episode that would help us to be better Christians?
- The church is a hospital not a courtroom, therefore, we are not judges. People these days (and I have done my fair share of it) feel as if they must call out other people in a spirit of ‘authenticity’ or ‘telling the truth in love’. The things I have seen people do to one another in the name of ‘love’ has been shocking. If you tear down another person for any reason you are not acting in any kind of love but perhaps self love. It is pride that makes us think we have the right to ‘call someone out’ for their behavior. I fall into this sin on a regular basis. It’s pride, folks… plain and simple. Andy could have destroyed, Barney to ‘teach him a lesson’ about lying and bragging. Andy could have given him some, tough love’. There’s no such things as tough love. ‘Tough love’ is a phrase invented by mentally unstable people as an excuse for being jerks to anyone them deem worthy of their, special kind of ‘love’.
- Matt 7:3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? NKJV We do this because we are full of pride and think we are above reproach. We are not.
- We are sadistic. We have become like the Pharisees. White washed tombs. This is going to happen more and more. people will report their neighbors to the authorities just to see them get carted off. The days of this are coming.
- We can turn back from the abyss if we do what is painful and treat others as better than ourselves as we are taught in our bibles. Our bibles are not there to show us how to get rich but how to course correct ourselves to prepare us for an eternity in the presence of God.
- Find someone who you have done this to and go apologize. Seriously. Whether on social media or in real life, go humble yourself and apologize. We are to humble OURSELVES, not other people.
As the last days approach, things are going to get worse. People will turn on family members. We have been told this in the bible.
It seems right to fight back and to be vengeful against those who have wronged us. Is this not the premise of every movie in the past several decades? Whether it is a tall tale told to us by someone or an out right attack against our character we must fight the temptation to retaliate.
Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.… A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word … word stirs up wrath. A kind answer soothes angry feelings, … harsh words stir them up. A gentle answer quiets anger, …
Proverbs 29:8 Mockers inflame a city, but the wise turn away anger.… Mockers stir up a city, but the wise turn away … . Mockers can get a whole town agitated, but the wise … calm anger. Scoffers set a city aflame, but the wise …
We have seen so much destruction here in America of late. Lies abound and stir up people’s wrath.
What if you decided today, right now to turn away from wrath and to from now on be known as, ‘The loving and calm one’?
Pray for your neighbors, those in leadership, your family, etc. We can change the world without ever leaving the house.
The world has told Christians to stop praying. Jesus said to pray without ceasing. Do you belong to the wold, or to Christ?
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
In the new book club book: Our thoughts Determine our Lives, we will find out how many praying people it takes to change a neighborhood, a city, a nation, the world.
That is going to be exciting!
Order your book now to participate in the book club.