Friday, August 3, 2012

Righteous or Self-Righteous? The Great Chic Fil-A Kerfuffle

I am not a theologian, just a good old southern girl raised by Godly parents.  I generally try to keep my blog posts light, fluffy and cholesterol-free.  However, as a Christian, I've been a little unsettled by this whole Chic Fil'a cluck fest.  It's really just one more symptom of a bigger disease that's been spreading across this nation.  That disease is Self-Righteousness. 

In Acts 1:8 Jesus told the disciples, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."  What a comfort this must have been to the disciples, but along with that comfort came great responsibility.  That responsibility extends to us as Christians today.  We should all be witnesses to the saving power of Jesus, not just on Sunday, but every day and in every aspect of our lives.  

So how do we do that?  Well, thank goodness, we have some instructions.  We just need to remind ourselves to read the manual.  In Matthew 5 we are told about Jesus teaching the disciples at the sermon on the mount, while reminding them that they would encounter resistance and be persecuted for their beliefs.  He said, "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."   

Let your light shine, so you'll be a source of warmth, comfort and reassurance in this cold, dark, and sometimes scary world. Keep in mind that people aren't going to be drawn to your light and your message if they think you are going to club them over the head with a fried chicken sandwich.  Let your light shine, but please be cognizant of the distinction between righteous and self-righteous.  

Thanks to a combination of media spin, politicians, and the internet, there is an awful lot of vitriol being spewed in our world.  But, this is really nothing new.  The disciples and followers of Jesus caught all kinds of grief after Jesus ascended to Heaven.  They kept the faith despite great persecution.  Peter wrote his fellow followers a  letter of encouragement.  In I Peter 3: 15 he reminded them  "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."

With prayer and constant vigilance, we can set ourselves apart, guard against being manipulated,  resist the urge to return evil with evil, and keep our light shining.  My nephew wrote a blog post on this subject that I'd like to share.  Hope you'll take the time to read it:  A Word of Warning for Christians on Chic Fil'a Day

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