Thursday, July 7, 2016

Fictional Families

I awoke with a clear idea in my mind. In this time we live in people are more involved with fictional relationships than they are with real connections. Television friendships have stolen the intimacy of real friendships. Doctors in fictional hospitals model dysfunction weekly. People know and care about who a singer is dating and was seen with on the 4th of July in an unhealthy way and it robs them.

Here is an interesting passage. I will give the context directly afterwards.

"But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler." - 1 Peter 4:15 ESV

That word 'meddler' is translated 'busybody' in the King James. The Greek word is allotriepiskopos (Strong's G244) and it is a combination of two concepts, stranger and overseer. It is an interesting list isn't it? The first steals life. The second steals property. The third corrupts order and the fourth exercises power over strange people.

Here is the context.

"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?" - 1 Peter 4:12-17 ESV

The fiery trial isn't the normal day to day one. It is the hurricane that strikes with fury. It is the flood that forces evacuation. It that day the fictions will fail us but the true connections have a chance of holding fast.

"Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.' To the contrary, 'if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.' Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." - Romans 12:13-21 ESV

There is a divine attachment and detachment that we are made for as people. Do we care about real things and real people? Perhaps that can make us vulnerable. Real people can hurt us. The world is a crowded place filled with isolated people. Smart phones create social zombies with fast thumbs and slow tongues.

Real attachments create real anxieties also and God would be our buffer so that we don't worship people or relationships.

"But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away. I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband." - 1 Corinthians 7:28-34 ESV

God's grace is the balance.

God knows that wrong focus creates anxiety. Grace keeps us from being meddlers. We do not need to have control over strangers. It connects us but in a healthy way where God is in the middle as a buffer.

How strange it would sound if a public figure said in a public interview, 'Let's stop caring about who your favorite movie star is dating and start initiating Godly friendships with one another. That is none of your business. Let's evangelize people and get our heads out of our phones.' It would be scandalous.

God give us a new friend this week... not someone we meddle with... not some wrong connection that will cause anxiety... make us like salmon that swim against the current of our world... here and present be not 'of the world' in it's whims and obsessions... make us grace and mercy people who love and are involved in a healthy Godly way in what is real. We worship you and that is real worship. You are our anchor into what is lasting and actual. You are our God. Thank You Lord. We love you. You are the sun that lights our world. Illuminate our path today. We believe You will. Thank You God.


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