How many times have we been sucked into someone else’s problems with the culture at work, school, or local council meetings? I can tell you that it happens… A LOT. I have the nature of asking too many questions. I get slammed for it sometimes. To be fair, I get glares, stares, and eyes rolled. It does not really bother me because if we do not ask and answer honest questions then we cannot ever really get to the truth or effective conclusions.
The traditions that bind us are often good. However, sometimes they need changing. Change is the longest “four-letter” word. The mature do not like change because they have grown accustomed to the routine of their life. The physical limitations, though unspoken, can cause a need to have systems and habits in place. However, tell a 20-something that their wi-fi will be down and suddenly it all comes clear of who has habits in different ways. Telling a child what does and does not truly exist can certainly rock their world too.
The point is that we have a certain order to our life we enjoy. If that order is adjusted we can unleash holy terror. None is worse than in religious circles. Jesus is all about changing lives. However, that change is often questioned, mocked, or deemed unbelievable. We often work out of a certain system of culture and relationships. When someone wants to break through they find it very difficult regardless of how their life is right now. For example, poor Ethel on Downton Abbey can’t seem to catch a break because of her life choices that she has since shed. Even Isobel is catching fire over her helping such a person.
Jesus helped a man born blind. The man faced numerous questions and was even thrown under the bus by his parents. If he had access to Ice T he might have told the people to not hate the player, but to hate the game. While that was totally too much gangsta for that day, the man was really saying what the Urban Dictionary has to say on this matter:
Do not fault the successful participant in a flawed system; try instead to discern and rebuke that aspect of its organization which allows or encourages the behavior that has provoked your displeasure.
How to Respond
Simple truth is best. When the neighbors asked he responded with the simple truth. When the Pharisees asked he, again, gave a simple answer. His parents were brought in and then he was questioned again. He got emotional, but gave a simple answer. Too often we try to get complicated so that we look more prestigious, affluent, educated, or pious. Let us just give honest simple answers with regard to the changes God has made in our lives through Jesus. Realize that not everyone will understand or agree, but that does not eliminate the effect Jesus has on you.
I don’t know. We shy away from making this statement because of fear. We are afraid of looking bad. We cannot handle the shame of ignorance society places on those who answer this way. However, we see this man getting along just fine and he used it twice. When the honest answer is “I don’t know”, do not make something up to look good. Be honest….it really is the best policy.
The next time you experience a great move of God in your life be filled with joy. At the same time, be ready for the disbelief of friends, neighbors, and possibly even your pastor. Take heart! Keep it simple. Keep it honest. Who knows, you too might have another personal encounter with Jesus that will radically alter your life.