Monday, August 22, 2011

I walk the line

Those of us that have been to Sunday School have been told not to take the Lord's name in vain, and many have been whacked, scolded or lectured if they were heard to throw out an Oh My G--, J---- H. C----, or something like it.

It certainly borders on disrespect and a lack of reverence to throw around God's name. But here is what I think is a better definition of taking the Lord's name in vain.

It has been said that taking the Lord's name in vain is attributing something to him that he never said. An example might be God told me this or that, when God didn't really have anything to do with that particular statement.

Remember the crazy Irish guy from the movie Braveheart?

When we see him in different scenes in the movie, he is always taking a time out to talk with God. Here is a little dialog from the scene when we first meet him in the movie:

Stephen: [starts laughing] Him? That can't be William Wallace. I'm *prettier* than this man!
[to the sky]
Stephen: Alright, Father, I'll ask him.
[to William]
Stephen: If I risk my neck for you, will I get a chance to kill Englishmen?
Hamish: Is your father a ghost, or do you converse with the Almighty?
Stephen: In order to find his equal, an Irishman is forced to talk to God.
[to the sky]
Stephen: Yes, Father!
[to Hamish]
Stephen: The Almighty says, "Don't change the subject, just answer the ... question."

I am afraid that sometimes those of us that are believers come across a bit like the crazy Irish guy. People wonder if we are nuts if we say God told us something. And if we say he told us something that he didn't, we probably are nuts.

But, I believe God really does speak to us.

As you can see, there seems to be a fine line between following God and nuts. and both sides of the line look surprisingly similar, if you look at some of the lives of people in the Bible.

How can you know if you are following and hearing God in your life, or if you have slipped across the line?

Here's a couple of ideas:

1) Don't go it alone.
In other words, have some other people you trust hear your thoughts, ideas, especially when you think they are from the Almighty. We can get very weird when we are alone.

2) Check it out
If we believe in God and his word, we can check and see if we are rolling towards crazy or if we are in line with what he has already said. of course, it is easy to twist things to fit our own view, so please reference #1 above.

I spent the day at church, so please excuse if you think I sound too preachy today...:>).

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