My Thoughts. . .
Monday, October 21, 2019
Most of us see one side of a scenario, but seldom examine the other. The way we see an event may be influenced by our cultural background, belief system, prejudices, misunderstandings, peer pressures, or past experiences. A recent example is Tim Tebow and Colin Kaepernick. Both are NFL quarterbacks. Most of us know Tim as the Christian who bows his head and prays openly. In a game, he often has the expression “John 3:16″ with white letters on a dark blue or black background painted just below his eyes. We admire his courage and are upset when coaches or anyone else objects. Colin Kaepernick? For most, he is the poster boy to illustrate anti-Americanism and being anti-patriotic because he refuses to stand during the pledge of allegiance. He goes down on one knee to illustrate that protest. The first time one witnesses that action he might think that if Colin is so anti-American, why doesn’t he go and live in some other country? Why doesn’t he find a job in that other country that will make him as much money as he has earned in this one that he seems to hate so much? What most do not see and may not wish to know is that Colin is also a Christian. Does that surprise you? He sees the injustices that play out against his race that are perpetrated by some policeman. Little or nothing is done to correct that situation. Is he against those policemen that are fair, honest, and helpful? No. Does he hate the USA? No. He hates the injustices that are carried out and not solved. The news information we have been exposed to doesn’t look at that side nor answer that question.
Is Tim Tebow perfect? I’m sure he would answer “No.” Actually, none of us are. The apostle Paul stated, “All have sinned” (Romans 3:10, 23). I’m sure Tim, you, me, and all others are included in that statement. That’s why we need a divine Savior! That’s why Tim prays in public and expresses his belief in several other ways. Would it surprise you to know that Colin is doing the same thing by protesting societal injustices?
Colin deserves just as much of God’s mercy as Tim does. Since you and I are sinners, we are included in that basic “need.” We need Jesus Christ as our Savior. I’ll admit that I did not know Colin was a Christian. I thought he was a US citizen that had turned his back upon his country. Like others, I failed to look at the other side of the coin. My background beliefs, prejudices, misunderstandings, peer pressure, and past experiences painted me into a corner of misunderstanding. The real problem is that my patriotism used different brushes which kept me from recognizing what picture Colin was actually painting. I would hope that any follower of Christ would protest any injustice that takes place anywhere in the world.
Sometimes we cannot see our faults (sins) because another’s seems worse than ours. We often use this imbalance to belittle our sins. If we had been present when Jesus dealt with the adulterous woman, his failure to mete out justice would have shocked us. It is interesting how much worse adultery, thievery, divorce, lying, or homosexuality seems to be than the “little” sins we are guilty of. That woman in John 8 deserved justice, but we believe our sins merit mercy. Right? Everyone speeds a few miles over the posted limits or throws out a gum wrapper now-and-then. We take a few paper clips home from work. No harm in that, right? We aren’t guilty of rape, incest, arson, kidnapping, sex slavery, or murder. Our shortcomings are the little offenses that hurt no one, right? Those others cause harm and destroy life. This allows us to dismiss our mistakes without suffering guilt because, “everyone does it.” Right?
Continuing in sin means eternal separation from God. Whether it’s “white lies” or wholesale ones, we need Jesus. Whether it’s doing 31 in a 30 mile per hour zone or recklessly driving it at 85, we need Savior Jesus. One might accuse Tim of displaying his faith as some did that Jesus spoke of (Matthew 6:1-8). That person’s judgment might be the kind Jesus warned about (Matthew 7:1-5). That might also be possible when judging Colin’s motives. Colin knew he was putting his position with the NFL on the line, but he was willing to do it, just as Tim puts his. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes, don’t we? Jesus said, “Judge not” (Matthew 7:1). Sometimes we do base our information upon the wrong side of the coin. We often seek justice and a society that follows righteousness. Do we want Justice when we go a few miles over the speed limit? Do we want justice when we make a wrong judgment? No, we want mercy.