June 2 - A Questionable Life, Part 1
Updated: Jun 6, 2019
There are many people who don’t like shopping for a new car because they expect to get taken advantage of and overcharged. If you hear a knock on the door when you’re not planning for anyone to visit, you expect it to be someone asking for money or selling something. And if we accidentally bump someone’s car in the parking lot, we wouldn’t be surprised if we got some yelling and rude gestures.
But what if you found out the salesman actually cut you a deal? You’d want to know why he chose to do that. What if the knock at the door was a flower delivery from an old friend? Your first question is, “What are these for?” What if the driver of the car you bumped gave you a smile and said they forgive you? Your response would be shock and relief at the unexpected kindness.
As Christians our goal should be to present unexpected kindness, compassion, forgiveness, grace, and love to a world that too-often lacks these things. If we respond in a way the world expects – with anger, selfishness, greed, etc – the impact is low. People aren’t surprised at that response, so it has little effect on them. But if they see the fruits of the spirit blossoming in you, they take notice. That’s high impact! They will ask, “How can you forgive that?’ “What makes you so honest?” “Why are you so patient?” We want to live this kind of questionable life!
Colossians 4:5-6 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
When King Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem and brought the captives back to Babylon, he had a picture in his mind of the type of young men he wanted in his service and he knew how he wanted them to live.
Daniel 1:4-6 …young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.
Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.
Daniel likely would have wanted to know why God allowed him to be taken captive, but still he handled the situation with grace and discretion. We will spend several weeks learning about the life of Daniel and will see how he continually lives in unexpected ways that cause others to question his motives. For now, take a good look at your own motives, choices, and reactions to various situations. Are you living a questionable life?