Out Of Order

October 3, 2016

Out of Order

If someone in the audience of a court room stands up, while a trial by jury is in process, and begins to give his reason why he thinks the defendant should be convicted, The judge will say, “Sir, you are out of order.” If he doesn’t respect the judge he will be escorted out by a policeman. Many times we get out of order, but there may not be anyone present to tell us we are out of order.

Taking heed to the moral and ethical teachings of the Bible helps to keep us in order. We must never forget that we are in this world with others. Romans 14:7 says, “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.” Almost none of us live on an island all by ourselves. Few of us would want to live that way. What we do effects others, and likewise what others do effects us. We need what others have to contribute to us. Life has meaning when we have the feeling that we have something to contribute to the lives of others. We are out of order if we live as though the well-being of others isn’t important to us.

Another important lesson in right living is found in Matthew 7:12. “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” This is often called “the golden rule.” If we keep this rule in mind it will give us a tremendous amount of discernment regarding what we should or shouldn’t do. If I’m contemplating doing something, it may be greatly to my advantage to do it. However, we need to ask ourselves, “If I do that, how will it effect others?” It is obvious that others suffer loss if I rob from them.

Many in our day are finding that they can add to their wealth and creature comforts by taking advantage of charity. They can do that by appealing to charitable organizations. It is also possible by applying for entitlements. In either case, it is taking advantage of hard working people. You are out of order if you expect others to do for you what you could and should do for yourself. We should leave charity to those who find themselves in a desperate situation and have no other resource but to appeal to charity.

Another biblical exhortation comes from the pen of the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 6:12. He wrote “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” That word “expedient” could be translated “for my good.” An example of that might be that of eating an excessive amount of junk food. Some seem to get by with it, but most don’t. It may be that you aren’t directly hurting anyone else if you do that, but it isn’t for your good. Sooner or later you will pay for it. There are other applications that could be made of what Paul said. You are out of order if what you are doing brings you under the power of it.

Some are out of order because they have an erroneous concept of who they are. It is possible to fall into one of two extremes. Some suffer from an inferiority complex. They have little or no self confidence and don’t think others should put confidence in them. The other extreme is narcissism {pride}. They are proud of themselves and don’t understand why others don’t praise them. The Apostle Paul has some good counsel for those in both of these extremes. Those who suffer from an inferiority complex need to read what he wrote in I Corinthians 15:10. “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” The genuine Christian is a child of God and the object of his love. To understand that gives us worth. Those who suffer from narcissism need to read Romans 12:3. “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”

Christians may at times feel like they are out of order because they don’t have the same moral values that many around them have. At times they are hurt by remarks others make about them, but the truth is that many respect Christians because they have strength of character that they wish they had. As Christians, our desire above all should be to please God. I Thessalonians 4:1 says, “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.” Again in II Timothy 2:4 we read “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

If you feel that you are in order, ask God to help you stay in order. We will never be perfect, but if we pray like Daniel prayed in Psalm 139:23-24 God will show us when we are out of order. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” If you feel you are out of order, with God’s help you can get in order.


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