At a previous church, I recall a sweet and precious widow with whom I had the opportunity to be a blessing and a minister to. But this particular widow paid much attention – perhaps too much attention to the newspaper, and to the news talk shows, and to certain news personalities.
Now I happen to like keeping up with the news. I actually will read both sides of the news too. I do get irritated that both the liberal and the conservative agendas in this nation have fringe elements, and it seems that those fringe elements just contrive and manipulate the news to their agenda. But, as irritated and frustrated as I am with many parts of our media, I do enjoy keeping up with the world, with the states, and with events everywhere from my county to the Middle East.
This particular widow came to see me in the office during a certain political election within the last 20 years, and was very distressed. She was having a hard time dealing with the possibility that the more liberal, less Christian candidate had a good chance in winning the election (I won’t say which, because some of you will figure out which church I was at if I mention which election it was). She was…the word, “distressed” comes to mind. I’ve seen people as distressed as this lady was distressed over not being able to make ends meet, or having an estranged loved one – as this lady was over the possibility that the conservative candidate would not win.
And come to think of it, pretty much during at least the last 5 or 6 elections, it has come to that. “Us versus them.” If they win, it’ll be the end of America as we know it. The liberals will end the Christians’ way of life. People will line up to shoot each other. Cats will marry dogs. Christians will be arrested. We’ll all be forced to convert.
Yes, I know I’m exaggerating. But to watch this lady’s “distress” (and the political/cultural distress of some today), all of those things might’ve been the case. She was in tears and was having a near panic attack, and it obviously made a strong impression on me at the time, to remember it years later.
We still have a tendency to do this. To put our trust in the outcome of the world, and to fear the world when it does not go this way. There’s an important reminder made frequently in the word of God, and yet forgotten by us just as frequently.
You see, the more we put our trust in this world, the less we tend to trust God. And, the more we fear this world, the less we tend to fear God.
Matthew 6:24 tells us, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
The same goes for worshiping, and honoring, and fearing. We can’t serve God and another master (in the cast of Matthew 6:24, money). We can’t honor God and live for man. We can’t fear God and fear what the world fears at the same time. It just doesn’t work that way. Generally speaking, to serve, honor, or fear one is to remove the desire and need to serve, honor, or fear the other (God and World).
There are even those who claim to worship/fear/trust God with words and yet they worship/fear/trust the world with their actions. The brand of hypocrisy they have perpetuated has been contagious in influencing many with weaker faith.
Honor God. Fear God. Trust in God. None of those elements should be placed in our world, our country, our leaders, or our society, as worthy as we might believe them to be of being honored, feared, or trusted.
Isaiah 8:11-13 – “For the LORD spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the LORD of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.”