Summary: It is not just about “God and me,” as some less-than-social Christians might assert. In God’s Kingdom, our behavior affects others and their behavior affects us.
We Do Not Live to Ourselves
1. Last week I was talking to Phyllis Roussakis….was going to find a Norwegian joke.
2. A Welshman, Scot and Englishman are walking when they come across a lantern and a genie pops out and grants them one wish each.
The Scot says: “I am a sheep herder, like my dad before me. I want my country to be full of lovely sheep farms.” Whoosh, and so it was.
The Englishman was amazed and says: “I want a wall around England to keep those good for nothing Scots and Welsh out.” Bang, there was a wall around England.
The Welshman says: “Tell me more about this wall.”
The genie says: “It’s 200 feet high, 100 feet thick, it goes all around England, and nothing can get in or out.”
The Welshman says: “Fill it with water.”
3. The bottom line is that our choices affect others.
Romans 14:7, “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.”
4, In addition, some people are so horribly lonely, we need to help them connect. One person blogged, “Today, I was so lonely that I was comforted by the sound of mice running through the walls of my apartment. I left cheese and peanut butter out for them to find so that I could at least have a pet for company.”
Main Idea: It is not just about “God and me,” as some less-than-social Christians might assert. In God’s Kingdom, our behavior affects others and their behavior affects us.
I. Principle One: We Should CARE About What Other People Think (1-2)
Jesus: When asked if he paid the temple tax, he told Peter “However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel…” Matthew 17:27
A. Because God’s approval matters MORE than man’s doe not imply disinterest in what others think.
• This relates even to slaves being concerned about what their masters’ think.
• People who do not care what others think about them have a social problem
B. The Bible speaks to the realities of slavery, but does not ENCOURAGE it
1. I Timothy 1:10, “… the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,..”
2. We need to address what is, not necessarily what should be; Idealists often miss the boat if they want all or nothing
C. If we relate poorly to the lost, they may detest God and His PEOPLE because of us
1. Perhaps a midrash on the LXX of Isaiah 52:5, “On account of you my name is continually blasphemed among the Gentiles.”
2. Romans would intensely ANNIHILATE all Christians if movement considered anti-slavery
3. Some people think poorly of God and the Kingdom because they have come across the hypocrisy or irresponsibility of people professing faith in Jesus…
4. My sister-in-law who recently died…
D. If they are saved, we want to BLESS them as believers