Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Spreading the news
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” -Rom. 12:21
I heard someone comment yesterday that they feel sorry for teenagers today who are “growing up in a world with so much evil.” They were reflecting on the events of 9-11 and all of the difficulties in our world today. But as a student of history, I’m reminded that this world has always been in pretty bad shape. It’s really just a question of whether we live in this world or of this world. It is a question of whether we stand for what is good and best or settle for what is mediocre. We have to let our voice of good be louder than the shout of bad.
How does this relate to parenting? Kids model what they see in their parents. And if we are parents who see the worst and never express the best, our kids tend to model that same behavior. It’s more than just being half-full or seeing the day as partly sunny versus partly cloudy. It’s being real about the world’s difficulties, but acknowledging the bigger purpose and role of faith.
We recently went to the “kick-off” football game at Cowboys stadium between #4 LSU and #5 Oregon. Jeanie is an LSU graduate and I am a qualified fan by marriage. The game was sold-out, loud and intense. If you’ve ever been to an LSU game, you soon discover that it’s much more than just a casual contest. It is war. Tiger fans are awesome. Fans wear every variety of LSU garments to proudly proclaim their loyalty to the Tigers and possess all knowledge of anything involving LSU. The fans are absolutely sold out to the Tigers. They even bow their allegiance to the defense when they hold the opposing team. They can't wait to attend the games every weekend.
At church Sunday, I wondered why the “good news” of faith and freedom isn’t shouted and exalted like fans about their schools at football games? Why is it okay for fans to go absolutely berserk but not okay for most people to express their faith? Most football fans aren't afraid to risk rejection as they loudly proclaim their allegiance to a particular school. Granted, many times alcohol is involved in the uninhibited nature of the fan, but still, they are aggressive about what team they support.
In a world that is seemingly falling apart at the seams, we need to proclaim our allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ and the need for a hurting world to find it’s answers in putting faith in a loving God. Sure, we need to be respectful and loving to those of different faiths, but as Bill Hybels says, “We need to be willing to walk across the room and tell our story.”
Teach your kids to talk about what is good and true and lasting. Talk about God and His love with your kids daily. Tell your stories of God’s faithfulness to your kids often. Turn off the national news (which always shares the worst of the world) and replace it with some time in God’s Word. Remind your kids that there is an alternative to finding peace in this unpeaceful world. Remind them that true peace only comes through faith in the Lord.
Mention again that God is our strong tower, whom we can go to for peace and protection (Proverbs 18:10). Be bold about your faith. Be reminded that the God of the Universe carries more weight than even LSU (but I still like the Tigers)! He is truly worthy of our praise and of our sharing to a hurting and lost world.
Go God (and go Tigers)!
By Eric Joseph Staples ©