Written by RGT   
Wednesday, 05 August 2020 13:40

                                                                                THE PART YOU DON’T SEE


     Most of us have watched the movie, “The Titanic”.  Of all the incredible facts about how strong the ship was built (“Even God can’t sink her”!) and how splendidly she was adorned, one particular incident in the story sticks out to me more than any other. I say that because the phenomena that sunk the boat way back then is alive and thriving today. If you remember the scene where the captain was trying to dodge the chunks of ice sticking up out of the water, it was fateful that they hit one and thought it had bounced right off the hull. After all, it was just a little chunk of floating ice, right?

     Fast forward to today. I hear many people talk about what a ‘saint’ so and so is because they’re always handing out tracks or sharing their faith with strangers or always helping out everywhere around church. When I first got saved, I ‘revered’ those who could spit out Bible verses left and right by memory and use them quite effectively to make their point. As I grew as a Christian, God gave me a great capacity for memorization, but I soon learned how that gift can become a double-edged sword. “Knowledge makes arrogant but love edifies.” (1 Cor. 8:1) It took me many years to realize how painfully true that verse is, and how I would rather now exude the love and character of Christ as opposed to being able to impress people with memorized Bible verses. One of the most poignant examples of seeing only the tip of things is on social media and especially online dating. To say that everybody puts their best foot forward would be the understatement of the century! We love to post our beautiful pictures of our beautiful families and exciting, wonderful lives for all the world to drool over. I used to hang out with a lady who did just that. “Oh what a beautiful vacation they had”, or “Oh what beautiful children they have”, she said quite often while ‘admiring’ their beautiful lives so proudly displayed for all the world to drool over. I’ve heard countless stories about people who showed up on dates arranged online, only to find the person looked nothing like the pictures they posted to advertise themselves. Often times, they used pictures of someone else! Misrepresentation is the word that comes to mind. That we do that in the church should come as no surprise.

     I remember taking a tennis class in college. I actually became an ok tennis player from that experience, but one very funny story taught me a lot about this subject I write about today. A guy showed up to the class in the coolest looking tennis outfit. He looked the part of a pro! As soon as we got on the court and begin to hit balls amongst classmates, it quickly became apparent that this guy didn’t know how to play tennis to save his life! “So much for the deceiving outfit!” I thought. So what’s my point? Don’t assume anybody is what they appear or tell you they are. Character is not defined by good looks, great church activities, how many Bible quotes you can spit out to impress others, how little you drink or swear, how many good works you are ‘doing for the Lord’, or even how faithfully you attend church.  A guy came up to me at church last week and declared that he has learned that when he has been used by God to help or bless another, he keeps his mouth shut. Amen! I can’t sit here and tell you I do the things I do all for the ‘glory of God’. I’m sure there’s even ‘self’ involved in writing for His Kingdom! One of my favorite verses is, “The heart is deceitfully wicked about all else.” (Jer. 17:9) I had a friend whose wife wanted a divorce. They both claimed to be Christians. After seeing a mediator to divvy up assets and while still married (my buddy did not want a divorce), his wife took off her ring for good. He was hoping for a reconciliation. When he asked her about taking it off she declared, “I know in my heart I’m not married anymore.” To this day her best friends are convinced she’s a Christian!

     The Titanic is a tragic story about only seeing the tip of the problem and ignoring or minimalizing the effects it may have on us. Just look at the price many have paid by ignoring the command to not be unequally yoked. When we choose to see what we want to see, just like the captain of the Titanic and many others who have found their lives, marriages, reputations, and hopes and dreams shipwrecked by underestimating the deceitfulness of appearances.  The old adage is most certainly true; things are not always as they appear. Next time you are tempted to be impressed by a picture, a sales pitch, or all the oohs and aahs and ‘likes’ on social media, remember the Bereans who went home and weighed what they saw and heard against the word of God (Acts 17:11) Ask your Father for wisdom. He’ll give it! (James 1:5) Better to know the truth and have God’s perspective on every matter, than to hit the ‘little chunk of ice’ and find yourself treading water afterward.

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