March 22, 2014
For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith." Romans 1:16-17
It is a rare week when our dinner hour isn't interrupted by somebody who calls us to ask our opinion.
Those questions are diverse. In the last two weeks we have given our opinions on home security systems, our political preferences, and where would we most like to go on vacation. I have tried very hard not to be rude.
Opinions. We all have them.
Name a recent president, and most people will be vocal as they share their opinion about him. We have opinions on the garbage collector, the children's teachers, the preacher in the pulpit, the auto mechanic, the next-door neighbor, and the check-out person at the grocery store. We have our opinions, and we're usually not afraid to say what we think; unless, of course, we believe the individual we're talking about might hear us or a spy might tell on us.
After all, we don't want anybody to talk badly about us.
Almost 500 years ago, Martin Luther said, "It is a common evil plague that every one prefers hearing evil to hearing good of his neighbor; and ... we cannot suffer that any one should say anything bad about us ... everyone would much rather that all the world should speak of him in terms of gold, yet we cannot bear that ... spoken about others." Luther knew. We like to talk about others, don't we?
Now, the rest of this devotion could be an encouragement to "defend our neighbor, speak well of him and put the best construction on everything." Yes, we could do that, but we won't. We have other fish to fry.
Instead, let me ask, have you ever noticed how often people have an opinion of, and are willing to talk about, others? Have you also noticed that many of those people don't have an opinion about Jesus? Almost as bad, if they do have an opinion, they aren't going to talk to others about Him.
Isn't that amazing? How could anybody not be vocal in expressing their opinion on Jesus?
Jesus stands alone. Jesus is absolutely unique. Shakespeare may be brilliant in his writings, but there are others like Homer who would not be embarrassed to stand by his side. Alexander the Great was a genius in battle, but Caesar, Napoleon, Rommel and Patton could command, too.
But Jesus Christ is special. He's one of a kind. More than anyone else, Jesus is the world's exceptional, extraordinary Person. He has changed the way the world thinks, the way humanity lives, and He alone is the way to forgiveness and eternal life.
All of this motivates me to offer this bit of advice: if you must talk of someone, let that someone be the Savior. Let others know how you feel about the Lord who gave His life for yours.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, guard my tongue from saying wrong about others and guide my tongue to proclaim the wonders of Him who has called us out of darkness into the Lord's marvelous light. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries