Friday, July 28, 2006

A frightening epitaph

What will they say about you and me after we're dead and gone? I hope it's not what the chronicler wrote about Jehoram king of Judah:
He passed away, to no one's regret....
2 Chronicles 21.20
What did he do that was so bad? I mean, they didn't even bury him in the tombs of the kings, even though he was one. Let's see...
  • killed all of his brothers (21.4)
  • married a daughter of Ahab and did evil in the eyes of the Lord (21.6)
  • built places for idol worship (21.11)
There was also war with Edom (21.8) and Libnah, the Philistines and certain Arabs (21.16) -- and people tend to blame the current administration (rightly in this case) for wars.

You and I probably aren't killing our siblings. And most of us don't marry the daughter of the evil king of a neighboring country. But do we hang around people who lead us closer to God, or away from him? What do we talk about with our friends and colleagues? Do we identify with Christ, try to bless them and lead them toward Jesus? Or do we let them lead us away from Christ and toward useless pursuits?

And building shrines to false gods -- that's easier to do than it sounds. Shrines needn't be physical buildings, and worship needn't involve music or physically bowing down. What do my checkbook, my calendar, my closet, and my hard drive reflect about my priorities?

If we err in some of these things, it won't kill us or send us to hell, but some of these things are unhelpful; we may regret them later.

So what am I going to do today to promote peace with my siblings (or the lovely Carol's) and our neighbors? How can I bless and influence my friends and colleagues toward Jesus, rather than being led astray by them? What in my checkbook or calendar can or should be changed to better reflect the priorities I know I should have?

In other words, what am I going to do today to avoid Jehoram's end?

And in my heart of hearts, do I really believe it's worth all that?

"I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" (Mark 9.24)

posted 7/29

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