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Initially, when I read that passage from Titus, I visualized a Jerry Springer kind of person. The type of person who’s always screaming, always accusing, always concerned only about themselves, always eager to get into a brawl in front of God and everybody.
But you folks aren’t like that. I have yet to see any of you behave like that in the foyer on Sunday mornings. In fact, when I go down to the Supermarket to buy groceries, I never see anyone yelling and screaming in the aisle ways.
So most people aren’t like the goofballs they parade before us on Springer’s show. However, we do have a tendency to be like Cain. As the passage out of Titus says: “WE lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.” That means that this is a common experience for ALL of us.
John uses the example of Cain because Cain was a “slow burn” type of a guy. God said to Cain: “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?” Genesis 4:6
Cain hadn’t said ANYTHING…but you could tell how Cain felt by just looking at him. Cain didn’t say much… but eventually his anger built… until he killed his brother.
Most of us are “slow burners” like Cain was. If we allow ourselves to think like Cain did we get angry about how people have treated us.
We replay the incident in our minds (over and over and over again)
In fact… if we think someone will listen we’ll replay incident for them
BUT we’re not just retelling the story
we’re RELIVING the story
we’re re-FEELING the emotions – the pain and hurt and the rage
ILLUS: I read of a teacher once who was known for his elaborate object lessons. One day, when his students came to class, they saw a big target hanging on the wall, and a number of darts on a nearby table.
The teacher told the students to draw a picture of someone that they disliked or someone who had made them angry . . .and he would allow them to throw darts at the person’s picture.
One girl drew a picture of a girl who had stolen her boyfriend.
Another student drew a picture of his little brother.
Still another drew a picture of the teacher, putting a great deal of detail into her drawing.
When they were all finished, the teacher hung their pictures one at a time over the target and the class lined up and began to laugh and enjoy themselves as they threw their darts at their particular picture.
Some of the students threw their darts with such force that their targets were ripping apart. At last, as the class was nearing its end, the teacher had the students take their seats… and then he began to remove the underlying target from the wall. The one over which the students had hung the pictures they had drawn.
And underneath that target… was a picture of Jesus....
A complete hush fell over the room as each student viewed the mangled picture of Jesus; holes and jagged marks covered His face and His eyes were pierced out.
The teacher then said only these words, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren,
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