Day 47: Can't We All Just Get Along? (Acts 19:21-30)
Today’s Passage: Acts 19:21-30
Can’t we all just get along? I hate to burst your bubble, but probably not.
I am not advocating violence, rather I am making an observation.
You and I, as we live on this little island planet, are either for God and God’s ways—or against them.
I know that is a strong statement. Before you reject it, consider the Scripture today.
Today we read of a violent outbreak against the followers of Jesus. Now these folks have not done anything against the people, other than change what they are spending their energy on. Jesus’ new followers have abandoned certain practices, practices that the city they live in hold in high esteem. This is apparently unacceptable.
This little snippet of Scripture reveals the reality of a big concept—a big concept I hope to sketch out in this small section.
When you follow Jesus, you are orienting your entire life around him. That means you are leaving behind all sorts of ideas, beliefs…and things…that no longer hold sway in your life. You no longer expend the energy, time and money on those things that you once did.
I am not suggesting you become some angry Christian who is opposed to everything.
Yes, there will be some things you immediately and completely reject because you now recognize them as opposed to God.
However, there will be other things you might not view as bad. Perhaps your view is to let others do “their thing” while your love of Jesus draws your energy to follow him.
But have you noticed, that what we thought evil 20 years ago, is now being honored?
There is a process that Satan uses where he takes the many good things, that indeed God created, that you will enjoy, and he twists them—and with that twist, that thing which was good becomes perverted. The old definition of perverted is: “having been corrupted or distorted from its original course, meaning, or state.” And what is worse, is that in the end, you are controlled by it.
Let’s take an example. God designed rest and fun. In fact, he commanded we take a Sabbath, spending time with him. Imagine the scene. You are enjoying your day-off. At first you spend time with God as well as enjoy other parts of your labor-free day. Over time, you are enjoying your labor-free day so much that you begin to really plan what you are going to do. You spend money to get that new toy so you can enjoy it more. God becomes less and less a part of it.
Do you see where this is going? Again, I am not opposed to fun, but do you know people who are so controlled by having fun, that their obsession with it makes it, well, not very much fun? They pour tons of energy and time and money into it. They get angry when their plans change.
When we disconnect that which God has designed, from God, even something like rest/relaxation/fun, it becomes a higher priority than God. We have allowed a good thing to become—get ready for a fancy religious word—it has become an idol.
And just to put a point on this idea—we can even turn church and religion into an idol—completely separated from God.
I started this little snippet with the question, “Can’t we all just get along?” And answered, “Probably not!” I noted what happened to Jesus’ followers when they changed their lifestyle.
Why did the world react against them? Because it is serving an idol…and today, in our world, the idols are many.