Blogging takes a bit of time, and I haven't had much of that! (That and I haven't written a sermon in a few months.) But I want to get into the habit of doing so and since today has been rainy (along with most of yesterday) I've been stuck inside so this is a good time to restart!
I am preaching tomorrow so it's prompted me to get out some readings and analyze and apply.
The readings chosen for tomorrow are:
Jeremiah 11:18-20 -- innocent prophet being "set up" by his enemies
James 3:16-4:6 -- jealousy causes quarrels
Mark 9:30-37 -- who's the greatest?
The immediate illustration that comes to mind is the movie "The Caine Mutiny". The story had all the elements present in these readings: plotting, lying, and jealousy.
In "The Caine Mutiny" the captain made several mistakes. Then, in the midst of a typhoon, the Executive officer challenges and relieves the captain from command.
Later, in the court martial, the Executive officer's defense attorney was able to prove that the captain was incompetent. At the celebration party, the attorney upbraids the Executive officer and others. Even though the captain made several mistakes and may even have been legally incompentent--at one point the captain asked the officers for help and they refused to help him.
That, said the attorney, put the blame of failure in command on the officers, not the captain.
The christian should anticipate the needs of others. If we see someone having trouble we should lend them aid--even before they need it. And we needn't even receive praise for their assistance. We should never relish the fall of another.
Sometimes offensive behavior and plotting is obvious, sometimes it is subtle, but it is always wrong--regardless of motivation.