Dr. Ben Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon, spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast. Sitting just two seats away from the podium, President Barack Obama listened intently as this godly doctor shared observations about what is troublesome in America and his prescriptive ideas as to what would change the country for the better. It was a bold, uncompromising message delivered by a humble, God-fearing man. Some in the media castigated him for daring to speak openly against policies connected to the president. Prophetically, the Dr. Carson emphasized the dangers of political correctness in his message.
Titus 2:8—Your message is to be sound beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be ashamed, having nothing bad to say about us.
Primarily we are to live holy lives because as Peter noted, “the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct” (1 Pe. 1:15). Additionally we are to live holy lives because it deprives our enemies of ammunition to use against us. When we are “sound beyond reproach” in the way we live we remove the ability of those who object to our message to buttress their argument by accusing us of a hypocritical lifestyle. While the president may not have agreed with the doctor, he certainly respected his character and that opened up a marvelous door for truth telling. By addressing the issues and not mentioning or bad-mouthing the president and sitting politicians, Dr. Carson exemplified “what right looks like.”
In the book of Cretans, Jesus told His disciples at an official’s banquet, “I’m sick of Herod and his corrupt policies.” To this Thomas replied, “Lord, what about the oppressive Roman rules Cesar forces us to endure?” Jesus answered, “Yes, he too needs to go. I’ve come for this very reason, to overthrow idiot leaders because I’m always right.” Nathaniel asked him how he would get the Sanhedrin’s support. Jesus shook his head and said, “This is why you are hardly ever mentioned in Scripture, do you really think I need them? Make blankets and embroider my name on them with the phrase, ‘Cleaner of the Corrupt.’ Place them on donkeys so people will know why I have come.”
Thankfully there is no book of Cretans and that whole conversation never happened. Christ came to die for our sins and not to campaign for our votes. Never in Scripture does God call us to bash our leaders, mock them or to engage in complaining. He calls us to respect authority. He asks us to pray for our leaders and He compels us to tell the truth. When we live for Him first, we have not just the right but the ability to dispense wisdom. Our audience may disagree with what we say but at least we give them reason to reason when our lives are “sound beyond reproach.”
Be careful, lest in fighting the dragon you become the dragon.—Friedrich Nietzsche
©2013 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)