Bible, Christian Life, Christianity, devotional, evangelism, God, Gospel, inspirational, Jesus, motivational, My Little Pony, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, New Testament, Old Testament, Pinkie Pie, preaching, Rainbow Dash, Secrets and Pies, sharing the Gospel, the Great Commission, witnessing
Inspiration for Today’s Devotional: “Secrets and Pies”
Rainbow Dash doesn’t care for pie. Nothing’s necessarily wrong with that, as everyone has things they like and things they don’t like. However, what complicates this particular instance is the fact Pinkie Pie likes making Rainbow Dash pies. And rather than telling Pinkie that she doesn’t like them, Dash is so scared of offending her and hurting her feelings that she keeps graciously accepting them, complimenting her highly, and then disposing of them at the first convenience. In not telling Pinkie that she hates pies, she figured she was doing her a favor by sparing her feelings.
As it turned out, the opposite ended up being true. As someone who himself is an amateur writer, I can tell you that it would be extremely infuriating, frustrating, and even disheartening to have someone tell me for years that they loved my work only to find that they hated it the whole time and were just trying to spare my feelings. That’s because praise has the side effect of making one try harder to please the fan even more next time, even to the point of devoting extra time and effort to it, because they believe it makes them happy. Not to mention it has them take more pride in their work than they might otherwise. And so it was for Pinkie Pie. As the girls point out, Rainbow Dash set out to keep from hurting Pinkie Pie’s feelings by omitting the truth, but she ended up hurting them even worse.
There comes a time in everyone’s lives in which they believe that a “little white lie” or simply omitting the truth would be preferable to sharing it. And in some cases that might very well be true, but not most. Like I said before, I’d want someone to be honest with my work. Even if they were “brutally honest”, I might sulk or fume for a while, but I’d eventually realize what they were saying and realizing it was something I needed to change. Obviously when there’s a situation of abuse, whether physical, mental, or sexual, the last thing to do when asked about it is to omit the truth. And if we see someone indulging in self-destructive behavior, trying to ignore it or excuse it won’t do anyone any good in the long run, even if, as I have said in earlier devotionals, we run the risk of alienating a loved one or “driving them to do something worse”.
But naturally, for the Christian, the biggest truth we can’t afford to omit and also the hardest one to share is the truth of God’s Judgment of the World (Romans 3:23; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 25:31-46) and the saving hope of the Gospel message (John 3:16; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9).
I’ve heard the sermon many times before about the importance of sharing the Gospel, and likening it to seeing someone about to walk off of a cliff. If you saw someone about to do that who was in mortal peril, you’d yell and tell them about it, wouldn’t you? That’s true, and it is important, but it omits a few key details. To be more applicable to real life and the Gospel, you’d first have to convince the person that there’s a cliff there at all, and that the way you’re taking is the only safe way to avoid the cliff out of all the other paths out there…each of which you claim all lead over it. Then you’d have to deal with the person shouting back at you that you’re just trying to get them to go on your path because you like exploiting people and controlling them, forcing them to go down your trail and no other one. Or perhaps they’d argue about how you have the nerve to tell them to walk away from the cliff when they’ve seen you put your feet over the edge many times before. Or how you know that your path is the safe one and all you can say is you have a sign that says it’s the right one and all the other signs out there are lying.
In my darker moments, I’ve asked myself before if the greatest thing a Christian can do really is convince people God loves them or convince them that they should be scared of him. Like it or not, all of us became Christians at least partially out of fear of the Final Judgment. There’s a good chance most of us wouldn’t be Christians otherwise. It’s not a pleasant thing to think about or dwell on, and it certainly isn’t something we want to go around blasting people in the face with (unless, perhaps, we’re one of those campus soapbox preachers). Common sense and human nature tells us we’ll make some people irritable, angry, or hostile…not just to our message but to us as individuals. In some cases, we might even end up driving away people or getting ourselves in trouble with the law, in public, at work, or even at home. After all, the Bible cautions that the Gospel will make us the enemies of most.
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn
“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39)
However, as this episode pointed out, omitting the truth can be even worse, and no more so in the case of the Gospel. We profess that Jesus Christ is the only hope for a doomed world and the only way to salvation from sins. “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”” (John 14:6) “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) No amount of other good works or other religion can replace Him. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) We believe that and attest to that, and we have accepted and received it to become Christians ourselves. And that sort of message is too important not to share.
We may not all be called to be mass evangelists or preachers, but we are all Christians, and we do all have a story to tell. And while the time may come where we are called to minister or witness to a stranger we meet and we need to be ready and waiting for that, we all have our own sphere. Our family, our friends, our co-workers, and our children. The people who know us personally and we know personally. These are the folks who most likely would hear us telling them to “watch out for a cliff” and realize we wouldn’t be telling them to if there wasn’t one there.
Furthermore, don’t think that God just tells us to do something like this and then sits back and waits for us to mess it up. On the contrary.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17) “I can do all this through him(Christ) who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
Not only does he not abandon us when he asks us to do something, but he wants us to call on him for help. He wants to grant us power and ability that we don’t have ourselves so that he may be glorified through us. (2 Corinthians 2:9) Don’t lose sight of that.
Lastly, if you happen to be a non-Christian and you are interested in learning more about this “warning message”, you can learn more here: Click here.
Suggested Prayer: “Lord God, thank you for your saving message of the Gospel and the glorious sacrifice of your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ; by which mankind can find salvation from its sins. Thank you for allowing me the providence to have had that message shared with me. I commit myself to you today and to the great Commission Lord Jesus gave us all (Matthew 28:16-20). Please help me to so live that I may share the Gospel with every life I touch both today and for the rest of my life. Gratefully in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”