by: Gary L. Hutchens
Tomorrow, multitudes of people in this country and around much of the world will supposedly celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Many will attend some kind of special church service in His honor. Others will simply feel special feelings about the Savior as they go about the day. Specific references to the birth of Christ will be uttered in prayers by some. A large number of people will get drunk.
It is good when people are moved to contemplate the blessing of God sending His Son as our Savior, to become man and go to the cross as the ultimate sacrifice for the guilt of our sins. It is even better when people are motivated to reflect on their personal relationship with the Savior. But how much honor is truly given our Lord by paying Him some limited attention for one day?
How would each of us feel if somebody we truly love, somebody for whom we have sacrificed greatly, basically ignored us most all of the time? What if they purposely put us out of their mind and out of their lives almost all of the time, so as to not have to think about us? They do not want to be around us, do not want to spend time with us, never come to see us or even call us up on the phone. But once or twice a year they suddenly shower us with supposed expressions of love and attention. Within a day or two, they again put us out of their lives. They repeat this process year after year.
They truly expect us to accept their brief attention and expressions of love as being sincere. They expect us to be gracious toward them, watch over them, protect them and do good things for them on an ongoing basis. But they would appreciate it if we would do all of that from afar, so as not to intrude on their lives too much. How would we feel? How would we respond?
Obviously, we would see such demonstrations as superficial, piecemeal, insincere and hypocritical. We might take them as an insult. Many of us would probably be offended by such repeated behavior.
Is this not exactly how a great many people act who will supposedly “honor” Jesus tomorrow? How can anyone expect such surface level dedication to be pleasing to our Savior? The best way to honor Jesus is to live our lives, daily, in His service. We honor Him as we consistently live according to His teachings (Jn. 14:15). Jesus spoke of people who hypocritically honor Him with their lips while their hearts are far from Him (Matt. 15:8). Such is clearly demonstrated in a life that only pays attention to the Savior one or two days a year, and then lives dishonorably the rest of the time.
Let us, as we come to the end of another year, honestly examine ourselves as to how we, or even if we, honor Jesus. Let us make up our minds to honor Him indeed from this point on in our lives…
Gary L. Hutchens