Half-way parked

I went to the bank and when I came out I noticed a bakkie (in American that’s a truck) parked on the halfway in the last parking spot. The car parked in that spot was way up in the front so there was some space behind it, but not enough for a second vehicle. It seemed to me that the driver of this bakkie thought if he was half way inside the parking at least he wasn’t parked totally illegally. Obviously, if a traffic officer had been there, it would have been considered to be illegal. You can’t be halfway in to be parking properly, you have to be all the way in. Just like they always say that you can’t be almost pregnant. You either are, or you aren’t!

We tend to think that we can be a Christian but still do all the things that people who aren’t Christians do. I know it’s really difficult to say no to all the things your friends are doing.

Romans 12:2, And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

One gentleman who says he is a Christian said that he drinks on Saturdays, and he gets intoxicated, but that God understands because he isn’t harming anyone and he’s always in church on a Sunday.

I can’t judge whether people are going to heaven or not. That is way outside of my jurisdiction. I just know that God does expect certain things from us. Not things to qualify our salvation, but things that have been put in place to protect us. Things that are going to make better people of us and grow us spiritually. In his book, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin wrote that “our nature inclines toward idolatry” and that each person’s heart is like “a perpetual factory of idols.”

Often Christian values and ways of behaviour are dismissed being as tedious, old fashioned, and legalistic.

1 Timothy 2:9 – 10, in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.

I interpret this verse to mean that we shouldn’t be dressing to attract undue attention. Things like dressing modestly are not fashionable. If you decide not to expose your body when your friends are wearing skimpy clothes, which more that often have designer labels and are the thing to be wearing, and you don’t dress to fit in, chances are that you will be ridiculed. Same thing if all your friends drink and smoke. What about the television programs you watch and the music you listen to? The literature you read? But everyone is reading this book…I need to know what everyone is talking about.

I realize that a lot of the things I mentioned seem to apply to young people more than older people as young people are normally considered to be more likely to succumb to peer pressure. Don’t  be mistaken, if you don’t overcome peer pressure you are going to be subject to it as long as you live. It doesn’t suddenly go away as you age. People are always going to be putting pressure on you. Like when people want to borrow money from you. Are you obliged to do it because you are a Christian?

Luke 6:34-36, And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

I’m going to leave that up to you to decide for yourself. My personal opinion is that if I am willing to lend to someone I must be willing to give it and not expect anything back. If I can’t do that than I shouldn’t lend.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not going to run around telling people what they need to read and wear and watch. God must convict them of that. I am saying that we need to be inspecting our own lives to check that we aren’t parked halfway in the parking spot.