Summary: The first of a series of short messages after an unorthodox outreach series incorporating episodes from The Andy Griffith Show
Rafe Hollister Sings
Scripture Reading: 1 Sam. 16:7c
If you know it, join me--[whistle theme song]
Those characters we just watched--
Opie, and the others--
are now a piece of Americana,
and they’ve won such a place in our hearts because they’re not only a little like each one of us, but they also have a lot to teach us.
That’s one reason we’ve decided for the first four Sundays of the summer here at Cobblestone Community Church to see what principles from the Bible we might be able to learn from spending a few light-hearted moments in Mayberry. . .
So, just before we conclude our celebration
by praying together for a few minutes,
let me briefly point out three Biblical principles
that are illustrated in the episode we just watched.
1. We should judge others as we want God to judge us
In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said,
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way as you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you (Matthew 7:1, 2, NIV).
We shake our heads at Mayberry’s mayor and Mrs. Jeffries, but if we’re honest, we must admit that we too often judge others unfairly--
by their physical appearance,
by the clothes they wear,
by the jobs they have,
by the color of their skin,
their financial status, and so on.
We need to be careful, here--the Bible doesn’t say we shouldn’t be discerning and wise in our interactions with others--quite the contrary--but it’s very clear that:
a. God’s judgments are based on what’s inside a person (1 Sam. 16:7c), and
b. God’s judgments are merciful (James 2:13).
So, we should judge others as we want God to judge us. Secondly,
2. We should examine ourselves before we criticize others.
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? (Matthew 7:3, NIV).
There’s a little bit of Mayor and Mrs. Jeffries in all of us. We tend to focus on what’s wrong with others, and we think we see OH, SO CLEARLY how THEY need to change. . . While we’ve got no room to talk!
I think anyone here could recognize that the people in Mayberry with the REAL faults were the Mayor and Mrs. Jeffries!
So, we should judge others as we want God to judge us, we should examine ourselves before we criticize others, and finally,
3. We should respond to our own faults with honesty and others’ faults with humility and patience
Jesus also said,
How can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye (Matthew 7:4-5, NIV).
As Paul the church planter said,
Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity (Colossians 3:12-14, NIV).
If we do those three things, we’ll be much less likely to be like Mayor and Mrs. Jeffries, and more likely to be like Jesus Christ.