Pedestrians dart through the heavy traffic to cross the road. It’s actually safer to do that – to be aware – than use a zebra crossing as vehicle drivers think it’s shameful for them to pause and give way, so they often drive faster instead – it’s not about road rules but dignity. Many people get knocked down and even killed on the pedestrian crossings. “Modest” females wearing long flared skirts get off the bus sweeping the steps behind them, not realising how much of a safety hazard they are posing.. The passenger trying to embark after them need to wait till these ‘modest’ women get off else they would trip over the former. In the meantime, impatient bus conductors push the ‘slower’ passenger off the bus – what do they care, they even push old ladies off too – as they need to compete for passengers with the several other buses running at the time on the same route. You should understand, it’s important for them to have buses with passengers packed like a can of sardines. It’s not about compassion or the person, it’s all about pride and money..
This is a day in the life of Sri Lanka… craziness galore.. It is a place where “survival of the fittest” phrase was invented – well, so I claim anyway. Having grown up in England in my early childhood where the pressure was placed upon us to mind our p’s and q’s and etiquette was driven in, I still find it difficult to “survive” in this chaos.
However, this is the way of the world – at least in different scenarios – but ultimately the underlying concept remains the same. It is about me and myself… which perhaps would include our better half and our biological family. My ambition, my life savings, my education, my career, my pride, my comforts, my house… oh my church too.. It’s my way or the high way.
The Bible spells out the fleshly acts clearly…
sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
idolatry and witchcraft;
hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy;
drunkenness, orgies, and the like – Galatians 5:19-21
Idolatry isn’t just statues but it is also turning to whatever we place our focus or our trust on – whether it be our jobs, education, families, bank accounts, our own hands, our assets, the blessing of ‘dead ones’.. whatever takes the place of God..
Selfish ambition is where life is centred around me and myself and those dependent on me…
Not only are the acts of the sinful nature spelt out as above, but we are also warned,
that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God – Galatians 5:21
Anything to do with I, me and myself is indeed the opposite of loving God and loving our neighbour as ourselves. The way of the world is the opposite to the way of God. Isn’t that why Jesus says
Enter through the narrow gate.
For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it – Matthew 7:13-14
In fact, He even says,
“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you,
will try to enter and will not be able to – Luke 13:24
While the world is about the survival of the fittest, God’s Kingdom is exactly the opposite…
- What are the patterns of this world that you are conforming to?
- Spend a few minutes quietly seeking God and asking the Holy Spirit to convict you of the patterns that you are conforming to.
- Could the pattern be that of your family traditions, world trends, cultural traditions, religious traditions, religious / denominational traditions, church traditions…?
We do so many things because that’s the way we have always done them, or that’s the way we are TOLD to by someone we put up on a pedestal… How often do we pause and evaluate what we are doing? How often do we take this to the throne of grace and ask Him for discernment to know what are man made traditions and what are indeed His ways?
Remember Jesus REBUKED the religious leaders in His time for their hypocrisy and man made rules and regulations that contradicted the way of God… He set the example by “violating” their “laws” to show mercy, grace, love and compassion – to bring it back right down to where it truly matters.. Relationship!
Jesus sums up the law and commandments into two commandments. In a nutshell it is about relationship with Him and each other.. We are told to seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness while we are promised that the rest – our needs – will be met. The Bible is full of “each other” statements, to look out for one another and share burdens as well as blessings.
This is the opposite to the survival of the fittest mentality. Paul poses this question:
What do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? – 2 Corinthians 6:14
And Dwight Moody puts forward this statement…
If I walk with the world, I can’t walk with God
- Are you going to choose to walk with the familiar, the patterns of the world? Or are you going to choose to walk with God?
Remember you can’t have your feet in two places. God wants us to worship in spirit and in truth.. He knows those who worship Him with the lips while their hearts are far away and He calls them ‘hypocrites’.
- How do you want God to know you today?
- Do you want to strive to be exalted in the world and miss out on the Kingdom of heaven? That’s your choice!
“If we are not nourished by the Bread from heaven, we will satiate ourselves with crumbs from the world” – Erwin Lutzer