Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hello, Gong Man!

With on-going and fiery debates about gun control, morality, immigration, healthcare, and more filling our days, our televisions, our newspapers, our conversations, and our computer screens, I find it difficult to trust that Truth is first a Person—Jesus—and not a position. It’s difficult and it takes time.

However, I'm getting help by paying attention to the stark difference between those of us who have been induced to build our position (with supporting facts and statistics) and to strongly prosecute by it, from those who remain at rest in Christ, content for Him to be for others what He is for themselves—the way, the truth, and the life.

Perhaps the first sign that I’ve moved to prosecuting by a position rather than trusting Jesus is that love—knowing it for myself and for others—is replaced by surrogate passions. Do you know about those? I can grow accustomed to living by zeal, anger at sin, frustration at religious or political knuckleheads, and more. But if I have not love, then kindly whack me awake because I’ve taken on the form of a good-for-nothing noisemaker. And that does not work, it doesn’t fit with who and what God has made me. Struggle and strive to convince you of my point or opinion, even if I think it’s for your own good, there will be no fruit. Not really.

So call me on the phone or come visit me, and call me “Gong Man” or “Cymbal Breath.” I might not like it at first, I might turn some of my surrogate passion upon you(!), but your words to me will waken me and save me.

And I will thank you.

1 Corinthians 13:1 "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing."

Those are strong words.

I don’t mean that we can never debate—there are many issues worthy of it. But the One Who is the Truth, the One who is the Way and the Life, is Himself Love. Love is HOW He is because love is WHO He is. We do well to remind each other and to remember. Otherwise, you might start carrying around a musical mallet; for yourself—“Whack”—and for others like me—“Whack. Hello, Gong Man! Where’s the Ralph who loves? I know you’re in there, Ralph! Come on out to love.”

Maybe we could start a new ministry: “Mallet Masters.” Maybe not.

(This post is a transcript from yesterday’s video, “Hello, Gong Man!” and is for those who might rather read than watch. To see this and other videos of mine, go to my YouTube channel at:

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