One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Friday, September 5, 2014: Ecclesiastes 10:1-12:14
Dead flies cause the ointment of the perfumer to putrefy [and] send forth a vile odor; so does a little folly [in him who is valued for wisdom] outweigh wisdom and honor. Ecclesiastes 10:1 (Amp)
“Stupid is Forever”
A few dumb moves can undo a whole lot of smart ones. We’ve all had our share of them – words or deeds that were, in hind-sight, just plain stupid.
Solomon was acclaimed as the wisest man in the world (I Kings 4:30), yet his own moral failures taint his image to this day. He writes: “a little folly” is like the proverbial fly in the ointment. It turns a sweet perfume into a sour stench.
It was the ancient Greek philosopher Aristophanes who said, “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” In the 31 chapters of Proverbs, the word “fool” is used 77 times! It is a warning. “Don’t act like a fool!” This causes me to think about the days in which we live.
On a personal note, we all should ask God to help us make wiser decisions. Our lame-brained endeavors can cause pain and embarrassment to family, friends, and anyone unfortunate enough to know us. So, God says, “Wise up!”
Dumb Things Christians Do
I also think about the dumb things Christians do that can cause Jesus and Christianity to look bad. The Bible says that the Church is to show the world “the manifold wisdom of God” (Eph. 3:10). Paul says “we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are saved and among those who are perishing” (II Co. 2:15). We give off an odor! Does that odor make God look good, or make us look stupid?
Here are few things I think we (the Church) should pay attention to.
Christianity is NOT a protest movement. We have the Good News! Unfortunately, there are a host of crumby things going on in the world that just plain offend us. We can get caught in the trap of “cursing the darkness” more than “lighting a candle.”
- Picturing opulent wealth as the sign of true faith.
I truly believe Jesus wants us to “prosper.” He wants this because He loves us. But, wait a minute. Does “prospering” mean I always go first class? Does “prospering” mean I’m rich in worldly ways? NO! It means I have riches beyond measure IN HIM! The moment Christianity is equated with bank accounts, cars, diamonds, and beach resorts, we look STUPID!
- Spouting off about topics when we haven’t yet done our homework.
I am a man of conviction. I have opinions about just about everything. That does not mean I need to rule the roost in terms of dictating policy. In a day in which we are surrounded by massive issues, we need to stay prophetically humble. I believe the Bible is the final answer – the truth through and through. When all is settled, the Bible will prevail.
The worst thing that can happen is when we embarrass ourselves by pontificating on issues we know nothing about. Do your homework first, and then say “Thus says the Lord.”
- Believing that just because a politician says he/she is a Christian, we should automatically fall in line.
It was Niccolo Macchiavelli who postulated the first objective of power is to stay in power. Politicians too often play the Christian vote. Play it! I know not everyone does this, but some do. They cozy up to the Church in order to get elected. And we fall for it! Dumb move!
- Turning the cause of Christ into the hottest performance in town.
Since the dawn of the Protestant Reformation, showmanship has dogged the path of the Church. The competitive nature of current Christianity pushes some toward glitch, glamour, and the greatest show on earth. Golden thrones, gaudy outfits, and grand entries too often backfire. They highlight the gullibility of a populace eager to be entertained.
I will use any means short of sin to win the lost. But, when our method trumps our message, we have failed. We end up preaching ourselves (II Co. 4:5) more than “Christ as Lord.”
Christian Body Odor
Paul warned the Romans about all this. He told them the Gentiles are watching. “For ‘the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,’.” (Rom. 2:24) God forbid that we become to roadblock to people seeing Jesus.
We carry the sweetest, most winsome aroma in the world. Our bone-headed blunders can turn Chanel No. 5 into the stench of a sewer. Whoa! God help us! It’s time to WISE UP. No more unbathed BO. Let’s let the fragrance of Jesus waft out of us like never before.