Thursday, February 28, 2013

Idiots for Christ by Martin Wiles

The musicians yodeled at Starbucks on 51st Street and Broadway in Manhattan, New York. The crowd rewarded them with attention and an overflowing tip basket. One lady in particular swayed and sang along. One of the musicians invited her to debut the song of her choice. She chose “His Eye is on the Sparrow” and with great enthusiasm rolled out the final lyrics: I sing because I'm happy; I sing because I'm free. For His eye is on the sparrow And I know He watches me. It was her daughter’s favorite song…her sixteen-year-old daughter…the one that died a week before from a brain tumor.

According to Miriam-Webster, an idiot is “a person affected with extreme mental retardation; a foolish or stupid person.” And some in the crowd may have labeled her as such had they known her circumstances. Praising God after he took her adolescent daughter?

Some tagged two of the early disciples as the same thing. The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men…. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13 NLT). “Ordinary” comes from the Greek word idiotes and means unskilled or untrained. Noticeably so, it’s also the word we derive the English word idiot from.

One of our greatest testimonies for Christ is demonstrating how God can take “ordinary” people…idiots…and transform them into useful instruments for his Kingdom work. Our altered attitudes and converted actions illustrate what forgiveness and a relationship with Christ can accomplish. We can show joy in harrowing circumstances, steadfastness amidst rampant unfaithfulness, and love in the presence of widespread unkindness. God can empower us to be a radical kind of idiot…one for him. Be one.

Prayer: Lord God, make us different kinds of idiots…ones that in spite of conflict, unpleasant circumstances, and opposition, spread Your love across our world. Ones that others will recognize as having been with Jesus.

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