Summary: When you see a sign reading “Out of Order” on any machine, there are two things that you can reasonably assume: One - the thing doesn’t work properly, and, Two - it will probably be a man who comes and fixes it. Our nation is way Out of Order...
"Out Of Order"
When you see a sign reading “Out of Order” on any machine, there are two things that you can reasonably assume: One, the thing doesn’t work properly, and, Two, it will probably be a man who comes and fixes it.
This is not a chauvinistic or political statement, it is simply the truth. My purpose in using this word-picture is to challenge men to get themselves “in order” in order to get our families, our churches, our communities and our nation back in working order.
God is the ultimate authority. Ever since the first rebellion against that authority, one thing after another has ended up “Out of Order”.
God’s authority is not mean, cruel, tyrannical or vicious. It is full of truth, wisdom, love, grace, mercy, compassion, understanding, and purity.
There’s the breakdown…each and every time any of us resist one of those elements of God’s authority, we immediately get “Out of Order”.
Convey that breakdown in our relationship with God to its effect on everyday life, and other things get “Out of Order”…beginning with our marriages and our relationships with our children or parents or siblings. When that happens, there is further breakdown, and more things get our “Out of Order.”
Like it or not, God established a chain of authority and responsibility that transcends personal opinions, personal preferences, and personal desires. The only thing that you can be sure that will result from that is brokenness.
We see it in simple examples, like when someone breaks a traffic law. Every seen the aftermath of a car running a stop sign or red light? How about someone violating the law that forbids driving under the influence of intoxicants?
Think this is too rare to be used as a viable example? How about something as simple as being disrespectful and rude?
There are no laws that prohibit this, but there used to be a social standard of respect that was not limited or restricted by the deservedness of the person to whom the respect was due.
That has long gone by the wayside. And we wonder why there is so little regard to authority and laws and morals and everything else that provides sense and balance and literal social security.
There are no longer public outcries when someone is rude and disrespectful. Imagine, however, what would happen if a person refused to rise when the presiding judge entered the courtroom and the bailiff called, “All rise.” That person would be strictly disciplined.
Sad, isn’t it, that only the threat of some type of personal suffering is, many times, all that compels people to be respectful, to show honor, to maintain honesty and integrity.
Things are most definitely “Out of Order”.
Without a radical return to the high standards of courtesy and honor that we once knew – the standards that all flow from a right lining-up under the chain that God established with Himself at the head – then we will continue to deteriorate as a people, as a culture, and as a nation.
Men have to be the leaders in this – we are the next in the order of responsibility that God has established.
Yes, abuses of this have occurred – and, far too often in too severe of ways. That does not, however, negate the truth of the order.
What it does mean is that, those who have been assigned that place must exercise their role in the manner and with the intent that God intended.
Nature hates a vacuum. Clear back in the Garden of Eden, when Eve stepped into a leadership role, her husband was sucked into the role of follower. Instead of lovingly intervening in what was taking place, he stood by and watched.
The result we all know all too well.
Men, how close to falling off the edge of the Grand Canyon do we allow our loved ones to get before we intervene? For me, I would rather have my wife irritated with me for pushing her away from the edge than for her to wonder as she falls to her death why I stood by and watched her fall.
I can hear the screams even now.
“I have my rights!”
“No one has the right to tell me what to do!”
Well, that’s not at all true…we have over a million laws on the books in this nation that are living proof that that statement is ignorant and foolish and just plain not true.
Rights without responsibility become license, just as grace without truth is excess. There has to be a balance. There has to be acceptance of and adherence to a transcendent moral standard.
When we pause and step away from our selfish ambition and self-serving motives, we can see in our hearts that this is more real that we might otherwise admit out loud.