"An Inside Perspective"

February 2010


My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! I will put it bluntly: I work with some real rascals! As the Lord would have it, for now, I am the only one saved on our job sight. In light of that, I live my life as best as I am able, by the grace of God, and I try to be a good example and witness to the others. I know that they notice the difference but they don’t really have a column to put me in. I get along well with them all but it is crystal clear to them that I march to a very different Drummer. I am perhaps a spiritual enigma to them.

These rascals will say a curse word for instance, and then sheepishly look over at me and say, “I’m sorry.” They don’t know why they are saying they are sorry but they sense something is not right; they just can’t put their finger on it. If you think about it, their “I’m sorry” belies their unbelief and declares their consciences’ built-in biblical standard of right and wrong. It proclaims their inward knowledge of an absolute truth to which they will someday be accountable. Simply put, “I’m sorry” admits a wrong done, but they would never. I have heard of strong believers but have you ever heard of strong unbelievers? Well, these are them. They are indeed very strong unbelievers. They are staunch, if not steadfast, in their unbelief. Their hearts and minds are fixed on what they love, and it has been my observation that these rascals love to steal. It’s odd, but the only time I see them really happy is when they are stealing something. A strange ungodly joy comes over them as they carry out their nefarious escapades. They laugh and joke and really just have a ball rejoicing in their wickedness. The heist can be the highlight and topic of their conversation for the whole of the day. They will sit around and rehash said pilfering all day long with great delight, the caper being embellished all the more each time it is told! God forbid I should mention the True joy-giver, for when I do, and I do, a wall goes right up and the party stops.

Honestly, my heart goes out to them. I pray for their salvation and for the Lord to do a work in their lives. I have grown to love them, not their works of course, but them, and who they could be in Christ. You know how it is when you work with someone all day in real close proximity. You share things, and you learn about their families and such. You just know in your heart what the Lord could do in their lives and it drives you to lovingly witness. I see these rascals by faith. Do you see people by faith or do you just quickly cast them aside because of their miscreant works? Let us live holy, beloved, but let us not be “holier than thou” in our attitude or we will never reach anyone with God’s love in Christ!

The most perplexing thing to me about these rascals is their focus on working out. They are disciplined like soldiers. They never miss a workout, rain or shine. They run, they lift, they do this and they do that. Honestly, outwardly they look in good physical shape, very good, actually. This is the perplexing part though. They all smoke like a broken toaster! They’ll do it in the middle of their workouts, while they’re eating, and they can even run for ten miles between their cigarette breaks!

I have spoken to them about it. I ask, “How can you be so concerned about your outward physical appearance, and all the while, you are killing yourself inside with these cigarettes?” It seems they are not bothered by my questions at all. My concern is simply not theirs. I guess because they cannot see the inward damage, therefore, they just do not believe it is there, and thus, they act accordingly. They have so deceived themselves that they simply dismiss the truth of their situation.

It is written, “Now do you Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter: but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.”

I wonder, are we as strong in our belief as these rascals are in their unbelief? Are we as staunch and steadfast with our devotions as they are with their workouts? Are our hearts as fixed on the One we love as theirs is on their stealing? Perhaps outwardly we look like good Christians, but inwardly are we full of dead man’s bones? It is written, “Be ye holy, for I am holy.”

Are we disciplined like soldiers in our daily duties, rain or shine, even as unto the Lord? Did you know that there is such a thing as an unbelieving believer? The same has so deceived himself concerning his inward condition that he simply dismisses the truth in unbelief! The church today is full of outwardly good-looking believers. They dress so nice and they never miss a service. Maybe that is you. Make no mistake though, beloved, it is the rascal within who is . . .