Sister Tarpley, NDG Religious Editor
“Even one of their own prophets has said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.’ This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth” (Titus 1:12-15).
In December 1983, The Princeton Religion Research Center published a landmark survey conducted for The Wall Street Journal by the Gallup Organization. The researchers measured a wide range of moral and ethical behaviors, such as calling in sick when not sick, cheating on income tax, and pilfering company supplies for personal use. The results were disappointing, to say the least.
But what the researchers found most startling was that there was no significant difference between the churched and the unchurched in their ethics and values on the job. In other words, despite the fact that more and more people were attending churches, churches seemed to be having less and less of an impact on the moral fiber of their people, at least in the workplace.
To quote the researchers: “These findings will come as a shock to the religious leaders and underscore the need for religious leaders to channel the new religious interest in America not simply into religious involvement but in deep spiritual commitment.”
“Either these are not the gospels, or we’re not Christians,” said Thomas Linacre, Henry VIII’s doctor and Renaissance thinker, after given the four gospels in Greek. Linacre recognized a great disparity between those who proclaimed Christ and how they lived their lives.
If our faith life is not validated through our behavior then one must question if we even have a genuine relationship with Christ. The apostle Paul didn’t like what he saw in the believers on the island of Crete. They proclaimed Christ with their mouth, but their behavior looked no different than those who did not claim Christ.
Pray that your faith is “proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:7-8).
Oh God, Time and grace heals our wounds, but time is not always a friend. What about my friends who have not heard Your words of life? What if they were to die today? I should know how short life can be. I’ve lost loved ones and friends who were young. Accidents and sudden illness can take away a life quickly. Cancer, diabetes, aneurysms, catastrophic events can change a person’s health and life in a moment.
Lord, why do I fear opening my mouth? Please help me to be bold, the speak Your words of truth and life to those I love, my family and friends, before time runs out. Help me to be a living testimony for You. Stir up the Holy Spirit within me and the gifts You have given me to minister to others, to reach a dying world, to share Your love and Your hope for the future.
Thank You in the name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior. Amen.