Sunday Stillness – How our society embraces mindless violence
I love a quote from Martin Luther:
Titus contains, “all that is necessary for a Christian to know and live by”.
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Of course, I start with a prayer for God to open the Scripture to me.
S – Say the passage aloud.
One of Crete’s own prophets has said it, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons (Titus 1:12, NIVUK).
I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.
I think the statement says it all. Titus and Paul had their hands full. In Greek literature to “Cretanise” meant to lie. I learned from Ed’s book that the scriptural quote is from 6th Century B.C. prophet Epimenides. Things were bad in Crete and Paul tells us that. Paul also knew that God could do anything.
M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.
My thoughts went right away to labelling people. When people make that label – then others see them that way. The fat lady, the skinny lady, the black woman, the Native person, the poor, – or more disparaging terms which I won’t print.
But I am reminded that God sees the heart. Jeremiah 17:10. But God also judges our actions. So Titus must have seen beneath the crustiness of the Cretan pirates and saw they had good hearts. Change is possible if we can see into people’s souls. He was able to bring their actions into godly production.
P – Pray again for God’s guidance.
L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?
I see people labelling other people. I see and hear racist talk. I see and hear political talk – put downs of leaders, instead of prayers for them. And I usually am bold enough to speak out.
Some people have a history (like the pirates) and people label all people based on their own association with them. They can’t see any good which might be hidden but is there. Pray when you find yourself judging.
People assume the worst – and therefore it becomes a self-fullfilling prophecy.
God created each of us in His own image.
We have to be open to really seeing people as Christ would see them. Paul was passionate about life transformation in a culture that glorifies violence. And I am not talking only about Crete.
Check out our society:
violent video games, violent TV, martial arts, fighting in sports, (watching hockey, are we watching a game or a fight?), blood spurting movies, degrading shows, lack of respect for both sexes.
Before coming to Christ I used to watch some “not godly” movies and read books that God would not be happy about. I read today about how God hears the prayers of those who are closest to Him. Is there a chance that what you are watching or listening to is coming between you and God? Think seriously about this. Be aware. Talk to God about it.
That reminds me of the new movie Fifty Shades of Grey. – an abhorrent life style which no one should have to see. Read a fabulous eye-opening article on this topic by Randy Alcorn. Once again God’s timing in this – my studying Titus and this movie coming out. I don’t even like mentioning it as it fuels more press.
But really – all you prayer warriors –
pray that God will protect people from seeing this movie.
North America is in desperate need of breaking its addiction to mindless violence (Restoring Health, Ed Hird, page 53).
Can we take a step to see each person as a child of God, come along side him, and lead him to embrace a life with Jesus?
E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.
Father, we live in times where all is not the goodness You seek for us. I am sorry that Your heart must be bleeding for Your people to come to their senses. We live where violence is glorified. Help us to ignore all violence – on TV, videos or movies. Help us keep our children in purity. Help us to seek truth and refreshment in You. Help us to see Jesus in every person we meet, to reach out and embrace every creature as a creature of God. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.
Today is Sunday Stillness.
Please link your post about what God has been teaching you. And please remember to visit your neighbour, leave comments and get to know more people in this group. We are a growing community of believers.
Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.
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