Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Trifling with God
by Tom Goodman
July 7, 2010

Recently a Connecticut politician has been in the news for claims about his military service in Vietnam.

"What is striking," the New York Times wrote, "is the contrast between the many steps he took that allowed him to avoid Vietnam, and the misleading way he often speaks about that period of his life now, especially when he is speaking at veterans' ceremonies or other patriotic events."

What has made people so angry at the story is how they feel the man's claims of service in Vietnam have cheapened the sacrifices of others who really served there.

Someone has said...

We are not what we think we think we are;
We are not even what others think we are;
We are what we think others think we are.

And that pursuit to gain the respect of others can cheapen life.  People have rushed into marriage to gain respect.  People have contributed to trendy charities to receive recognition.  People have lied on resumes to enhance others' regard for them.  Relationships become tools to raise our worth.

When that happens in life, earthly relationships are cheapened.  But when that happens in the Christian community, the Holy Spirit is cheapened.  And we do that when...

  • we pursue a church position like its some popularity contest, or
  • we become cynical about the decision-making process and approach it like worldly politics, or
  • the donations recorded on our income tax return don't match our actual donations, or
  • we see the church as simply a place to make business contacts.

There are a number of ways we can involve ourselves in the Christian community with little regard for the Holy Spirit who guides us and empowers us and moves between us.

The terrifying story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 reminds us that God will not allow himself to be used as another tool in our pursuit of self-respect.

Join us this Sunday @ 10 as we examine this important story.  We need the reminder that Hillcrest is not a community club, a social fraternity, a good-old-boys lodge.  It is a gathering of the saints, a fellowship of the forgiven, the body of the living Christ.  What binds us together is nothing less than the weaving work of the Holy Spirit!


Weblog:  Check out my blog, "Get Anchored," with its Links to Your World -- interesting and informative links, posted every Tuesday.

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