Saturday, April 14, 2007

Surprise inside

My son loves practical jokes. His new one is an oldie—the “can of nuts” with a spring-loaded snake inside. It even has a nutritional index on the back of the label, so it’s pretty realistic. He left it sitting out at our last cookout, hoping for some unsuspecting relative or friend to get hungry and open it up. He was a little frustrated since no one seemed to bite the bait, so he offered to open it for me. I told him no thanks. I had seen those before, and I was familiar with the surprise inside.

In a recent bible study, we came across James 3:13: Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. It took a week of wrestling with my conscience before I understood what God was saying.

God was showing me the “can of nuts” that I was. Most of the times I looked and acted like a Christian. He seemed to be asking, but are you a “doer” 24/7? Did my label illustrate something that didn’t match what was on the inside? Was I showing my family, my coworkers, the convenience store clerk, my son…what it is to be a Christian?

No wonder people shy away from those who say they are Christians! A lot of times our actions speak louder than words. Non-Christians are familiar with that prize inside and choose to live without Jesus, thank you very much. Why would they want to be a can of nuts with a snake inside?

"You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.” Matthew 12:34

This faith business requires continuous growth. Fellow Christians, I encourage you to keep reading your Bible and be a doer of the word, not just a hearer. Let it transform you, inside out.

To those of you who have not yet made a decision for Christ: if you come across one of those Christians like me who is still learning, please excuse us. We’re doing our best to get the snake out!

But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the {law} of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. James 1:25

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