They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Rom. 1:25
Every once in awhile, I get a writing assignment that has me trying to find relevant application for teenagers in God’s judgment on Assyrian kings who papered city walls with the skin of those they’d captured and flayed. Try not to be jealous. You, too, can teach the book of Nahum to a 13-year-old.
I think maybe that’s why I did it.
Clay and I got an invitation from White Bluff Resort on Lake Whitney to come take a tour of the property. We’d gotten similar invitations before, but this one had special allure: a free Kindle Fire and a set of Taylor Made irons. I was a little skeptical…I mean, all we had to do was act vaguely interested for 2 hours while some guy makes us feel like the dumbest losers on the planet if we don’t make a land purchase on impulse, and we walk away with the Fire and the irons? Psh. My husband is in student ministry. Feeling like the dumbest losers on the planet is not a new experience. Besides, I was up to my eyeballs in that difficult writing assignment with a deadline looming on the White Bluff horizon. I was willing to sacrifice a day of writing for the greater good.
We’re now “those people” who have sat through a resort sales pitch just for the cool gift. We didn’t want to tell the poor guy we weren’t going to buy the property. It’s hard to say, “Hey, thanks for the tour and everything, but we never were planning to buy. If you’ll just point us to the ‘gifting room,’ we’ll be on our way.” But we did say that, with less tactless words.
It gets better. I never actually opened the Kindle Fire. Once you’ve looked deep into the eyes of the new iPad with its resolutionary stunning retina display, the Fire is, well…it’s just not that cool anymore. And I have a birthday coming up, birthday money to spend, and a long-standing relationship with Ebay where that Kindle Fire is sure to find a loving home. Beautiful. To top it all off, White Bluff really is a great place and a good investment. Someone, maybe even someone reading this blog, is going to buy that property…and all because I suggested it. Everybody’s a winner, and I, for one, feel great.
We like for things to work out that way, don’t we? It makes us feel nice. And people like us better. Whether you’re Nahum facing the evil nation of Assyria, the President of the United States facing the issue of gay marriage, or just your average Joe facing a tough situation at school or work, the temptation is to pull the Golden Rule out of context and redefine truth in favor of “nice.” That way, we can be for everything; everybody’s a winner. Never mind the facts.
Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s not true. I don’t like it that Chick-fil-A isn’t open on Sundays, but just because I sit in the drive-thru from noon til 6 doesn’t mean that’s gonna change. I’d rather someone come up to my window and, in a spirit of love, give me the cold, hard facts than let me sit there and waste a whole day on something I wish were true, but isn’t.
I don’t envy Nahum. That guy had to tell powerful men who could crush him like a bug that they were evil and that God was going to destroy them. I don’t envy those in politics, either, where public opinion makes you or breaks you. I don’t envy the tough decisions some of you have to make in the corporate world or you who have to spend each day in the Jersey Shore culture called public high school. Come to think of it, I don’t envy me. I pay attention to how many people read this blog, and I’d like for that number to keep growing. But I’m not going to ignore truth just to make sure that happens. That wouldn’t be worshiping God; it would be worshiping my blog, or its effect, or myself, or all 3.
What about you? What truth are you tempted to exchange for a lie?