Looking for the Devil and Missing the Lord
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8, ESV)
The popular show Duck Dynasty has opened up a whole new world to me. I’ve only caught a dozen or so episodes, but I love how they often weave spiritual lessons into the show and always close in a prayer. It’s a positive, uplifting program—even if as a city girl, I find some of the episodes a bit graphic when it comes to the hunting. I’ve learned to enjoy the other parts and cover my eyes when things get ‘uncomfortable’.
This reminds me of a story I heard about an avid duck hunter who was in the market for a new bird dog. His search ended when he found a dog that could actually walk on water to retrieve a duck. He decided to introduce his new retriever to his friend, an eternal pessimist who refused to be impressed with anything. This, surely, would impress him. He invited him to hunt with him and his new dog.
As they waited by the shore, a flock of ducks flew by. They fired, and a duck fell. The dog responded and jumped into the water. The dog, however, did not swim but instead walked across the water to retrieve the bird, never getting more than his paws wet. This continued all day long; each time a duck fell, the dog walked across the surface of the water to retrieve it.
The pessimist watched carefully, saw everything, but did not say a single word.
On the drive home the hunter asked his friend, "Did you notice anything unusual about my new dog?"
"I sure did," responded the pessimist. "He can't swim."
A funny story, but it’s got a bit of a bite to it too. I know a few people who I’m afraid to take to Christian concerts or even church as they tend to sit and criticize the entire time. I’m not talking about being a Berean and testing the teaching, I mean they literally critique everything. From the sound levels of the songs, to the songs themselves, to the color of the carpet, the order of the service...and unlike the tight-lipped pessimistic hunter, they rattle their complaints like a constant dripping right into my ear, disrupting any worship I may be trying to enter into.
It breaks my heart and I know it breaks the Lord’s as well. It’s His house. He calls us to worship and to be unified in Spirit. It’s good to be careful and to attend a church that does follow Biblical teachings as laid out in scripture, but some people just have gotten so caught up in finding the devil in everything, they miss seeing Jesus move in anything. They wander from church to church, never finding healthy Christian fellowship.
Does this sound like you or someone you love? Are they missing out on experiencing major things that the Lord is doing because they’re too busy finding fault in the minors? Most of us don’t agree with everything all the time (or perhaps just can’t handle hunting scenes) but, when we set our eyes on what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, or excellent we can find something to praise God for. It may not be walking on water, but it’s a powerful start to a healthy walk with Christ.
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