Friday, July 29, 2016

Sheep in Wolves' Clothing

Most Christians are familiar with the idea of wolves in sheep's clothing-false teachers coming into churches and acting, talking and looking like Christians, all the while spreading their false teachings to vulnerable Christians.  Out in the world, though, I see the opposite-pop psychologists and life coaches and gurus of all sorts teaching things that Jesus taught thousands of years ago.  These trendy new teachers try and pass off their teachings as their own, when really they are often just putting Jesus' teachings into their own words, hoping no one will notice.  I heard Oprah many years ago speaking and writing about the power of forgiveness . . . as if it were her idea.  But who was it that first taught us to forgive one another?  Jesus!  More recently, I have seen everyone praising the idea of practicing random acts of kindness.  Again, it was Jesus, thousands of years ago, who taught us to be kind to one another and do good.  Now, gratefulness is the big thing.  Just go into any bookstore, and you're sure to find a gratefulness journal.  Again, it was Jesus that taught us to always give thanks.  Just today, some kind driver gave up his right-of-way to let me go.  It was kind of him, and I'd be sure to "pay it forward."  I thought for a minute about the popular motto, "pay it forward."  Is that not just a re-wording of the story of the unmerciful servant in Matt. 18 (vv.  23-34)?  The king forgives his servant of a huge debt, and then that servant turns around and refuses to forgive a fellow servant a small debt.  This angers the king greatly.  The story is illustrating how we should act kindly to others-practice random acts of kindness-because of the great kindness God has shown to us.  I think the world's leading speakers and teachers and authors recognize the great wisdom in the teachings of Jesus, but they claim His teachings as their own since following the teachings of Jesus isn't cool in the world's estimation.

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