Does God expect us to color within the lines?
Guyla and I were talking about a political thing the other day and as we were talking, two phrases popped into the discussion. The first one was, “He didn’t color within the lines!” The second one was, “He ruffled too many feathers!”
I was with a friend on Monday and Tuesday, building a deck with him and as we were talking, we got on the subject of politics. A similar comment came up. A young man that both he and I believe served our state very well, didn’t follow party lines all the time. He did what was best for the people that elected him. “He didn’t color within the lines”, and “He ruffled too many feathers!” As a result he was not re-elected, but was ousted from the party by those in power. They burned him. Was it fair? Definitely not, but he crossed the line and did the right thing. In the end he was sacrificed for the “good of the party”, and the “agenda of those in more powerful places”.
When we learned the truth about God and His son, and accepted Him as “Lord of our lives”, we accepted the standards of our Heavenly Father. He has rules for us to follow that are non-negotiable. However, we live in a “non” Christian world. We have to work and play in that world and their standards are not the same as those that we follow. In most cases we are able to abide by those rules, but there are times where we can’t. It’s those times that we have to be creative. It’s those times He want us to do what is right, and sometimes that means “Coloring outside the lines!”
Jesus did that often in His ministry on the earth.
Look at: Matthew 21:12-17
12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers,”
He saw the temple being defiled and knew that his Father would not be pleased with what was happening. He stepped up and took care of the problem. The practice of selling in the temple was accepted as standard at that time. The powers that were in control went against God’s standard for the temple and instituted their own. Jesus, on the other hand, knew His Fathers standard and cleansed the Temple.
I look at people today that profess to be “Christian”, and yet don’t project the standard of Christ in their lives, and wonder why? Is it because they don’t know the right thing to do, or is it because they would rather not stand out in the crowd as someone who “colors outside the lines”? Is it easy to be out there? NO! Is it “fun” to be the only one going against the flow? No! But is it the right thing to do? Yes!
There’s a line from the movie “Got Mail”, where a young bookshop owner who is being pushed out by a mega bookstore is putting up a fight to save her shop. She is referred to as “a lone read”. It’s not easy to stand up for what is right. It can be a lonely place to be. It may also cost you, and that cost can change your life.
Now just for clarification, I’m not talking about people who go off the deep end. Those people who “know the truth” and beat you over the head with their Bible. I’m talking about you and me. People who have the truth, Love the Lord, and Love those who are our neighbors, but we need to stand up for what is right in the eyes of the Lord. James 4:17 is pretty clear on what God wants from us
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
I see no other way, but to look at our lives and our walk, and line them up so that they match. If we need to change things by “coloring outside the lines”, then do it. But do it in LOVE. It may, as I said, cost you something, but in the end the reward is worth it.
I would much rather endure the vexation of those in the “world” than face the Lord, when my time comes, and give Him the wrong answers to the questions He might ask. How about you?