Thursday, July 1, 2010

Jesus Saves

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ...”  --Philippians 1:27a
My daughter wanted to take her new puppy for a nature walk in a local park that is home to a stone observation tower.  Knowing a lot of people and pets use the trails, she wanted to offer ‘Sally’ an opportunity for socialization and practice on her leash in a different environment.  It was a gorgeous day, and we encountered a Schnauzer and a dachshund, both unleashed who excitedly ran up to greet Sally.  As they bounded off after their owners, Sally wanted to run with them, but she was very obedient and stayed with us.  We also encountered a little girl who, despite being told Sally was very timid, chased her around and around our legs to pet the cute puppy.

When we’d first reached the tower and saw the words “JESUS SAVES” scratched into the outer, surrounding wall, being believers of Christ ourselves and wanting others to hear His message of forgiveness and hope, it was a pleasant sight.  At the top of the tower, we found the usual additions of sentiment one might find in such a place... declarations of having been there and romantic expressions of love to another.  The notes at the top seem almost fitting, but as I was processing the photo of my daughter and her puppy, the big, bold letters etched into the wall  below were recognized for what they are... graffiti.

While it may be satisfying to some well-intentioned believers to proclaim that 'sound byte' about the Gospel, I wonder if those same folks realize that obedience to authority and respect for property are aspects of the entire package of 'Good News'? And I considered my daughter's puppy, Sally. She had been excited to run and play with the other dogs we'd met, but she was also aware, in her little puppy mind, that she must be obedient.  I began thinking that many Christians enjoy the excitement of proclaiming the immediate message of the only way of our salvation, but they forget that obedience to authority and the property of others is an important means to demonstrate our love for Christ. Just as my daughter's puppy showed her love for my daughter by obedience and respect, we demonstrate our following the Lord the same way - obedience and respect.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree! In our efforts to proclaim our beliefs it is possible to offend others... something our Lord would never have agreed with as He walked the earth. Even 'correct' graffiti is still graffiti. We need to respect others. Thanks for the great post. George