What’s in your wallet?

purdue-basketball
I make no apology for being a fan of Purdue Sports.  But I have learned a few things along the way:
Several years ago, My wife and I were going out to eat (not that we have eaten out since then – but I digress). I was wearing my Purdue jacket as is my habit during the basketball season. It also happened to be the week that IU and Purdue were playing each other in basketball. As we entered the restaurant anxious for a quiet dinner together, two gentleman seated in the bar area voiced a disparaging remark regarding my attire. 

As the remarks continued, I reached a point where I really had heard enough. I then said, “If you can prove you have earned the right to express your opinions, I will happily listen to all that you have to say.” 

The two quickly responded, “What do you mean?” 

I went on to explain that I was a graduate of Purdue and a member of the John Purdue Athletic Booster Club. They responded with silence and we sat down for a quiet dinner. 

At that point, the bartender came out from behind the bar and showed me a wallet-sized copy of his IU diploma.  We both laughed and engaged in a fun ‘tit for tat’ conversation about both universities and the upcoming game.  I never heard another peep from the two guys at the bar. 

What’s in your wallet? Has a new meaning for me.
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We truly live in an egocentric world. Everyone has an opinion. Talk Radio, the Internet, you name it, whatever you want to say and what ever you want to believe you will find someone willing to agree with you. The world is waiting to hear from because what you have to say it oh so important (please note my emphasis on sarcasm!).

Even as Christians we follow the latest trends and fall prey to the latest gimmicks. If we were to listen to the world, we would discover that all religions contain truth. Therefore, Christianity is only partially right.
As Christians, we should be more tolerant of others. And while we have been more tolerant, the number of people identified as followers of Christ continues to drop.

The prophet Jeremiah had a similar problem during his lifetime. A lot of people were bragging about a lot of things and believed they had the answers to everything. Idolatry (divided allegiance) was a real problem in the nation of Israel. Jeremiah brought a message about what they were bragging about:

Jeremiah offers a contrast of those “idols” that others bragged about and the One True God. The idols were man made, shaped by man, dressed by man, controlled by man, moved by man, and capable of doing nothing on their own.  In contrast, God was the creator and able to anything.  The idols were mere scarecrows in the fields that God had created. In their lives, they spent so much time bragging about that which man had created that they had forgotten about the creator.

So what do you brag about?

When was the last time you bragged about what God was doing in your life? In your family? In your church?

The next time you find yourself engrossed in a conversation about the things (the idols) that fill with you with pride, stop for a moment and reflect on the One that created it all.

We will be held accountable for our actions. We have ownership of what we brag/talk about it. If you call yourself a follower of Christ, you must strive to live that commitment. Divided allegiance (hypocrisy) will not be tolerated by God.

If anyone spent time with you this week, conversing with you, listening to your stories, would they know you are a Christ-follower?

What will you be bragging about this week?

And if you have time, look for me in the crowd at a basketball game this week.

I’ll be the one wearing the Purdue jacket and talking about God at work in my life, me family, and my church?

Author:

I am a United Methodist Pastor and have the privilege of serving as the Senior Pastor for the church of my childhood. I preach in a place I once was an acolyte. I love to preach, but more importantly I love to teach. I firmly believe that Faith Matters and should affect how we live. This blog is a place where I come to share the randomness that is life and faith ... and the intersection of the two.

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