Pastor Bob Alderman

First Baptist Church

 

     I grew up in the hills of West Virginia and often heard people call us hillbillies, rednecks or backwards. I really didn’t understand why since we had floors, indoor plumbing, running water, telephones (party line of course) and even television.  Why, we even had sunlight pumped in on even numbered days! I came to see that their view was based on stereotypes and prejudice and began to ignore them. 
     There are many things that Christians have backwards. Backwards, not because of preconceptions, stereotypes or prejudices, but based on the Word of God.
     We go out of our way to please other people, spend billions on cosmetics, clothing and cars to impress people who really don’t care about us.

     We will not even read a scripture, spend 5 minutes praying or give 1%, much less 10%, to impress or even obey God. We are indeed a backwards people.

     Even the religious are often backwards. We worship a building, a person or a religious system/denomination instead of worshipping the Lord of all creation and religion.

     We point fingers at or laugh at someone in a bad situation, or even chastise them for their problems saying, “It’s their own fault.”  We are so quick to condemn and dismiss them instead of encouraging, loving and helping them.  Backwards.

     We expect to be forgiven for every mistake we make but find it almost impossible to forgive others. We should sin less and forgive more.
    

When life takes a downward plummet, we turn to our cash reserves, the government, our wisdom or abilities, self help books or motivational speakers, drugs, alcohol, medications or any other of the hundreds of ways the world offers us instead of turning to God: The One who created us, knows our needs, has a plan for our lives and loves us completely. Backwards.

Wondering just how much we have backwards. We will go deep into debt for a vehicle, home or toy, but run away from giving God a penny.

     We are living life backwards when we date like we’re married and keep our wedding vows like we’re dating. Something backwards here?

      Why are we so quick to condemn, yet slow to try to understand. 

     Perhaps the reason we have so much stuff backwards is that we are trying to think about stuff from a human perspective and not from God’s.

     Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”  ESV

     We are backwards when we put the ways of man above the ways of God.

     We are backwards when we do what we want and give no thought to God’s perfect plan for our life.

     The really amazing part is that doing things our way rarely works out!  We end up hurting or broken, alienated from others and, unfortunately, very sad.

     That is backwards from the life God wants you to have.

     God desires that you have a life of joy, happiness, laughter and hope.  God wants you to have the life you have always wanted!  Allow Him to “straighten out” the path you are traveling and find what you have been looking for all along!

     A very wise person once told me that it is not the speed that we travel, it is the direction that is important!  Going the wrong way fast is still wrong.

     Going God’s way is not going the wrong way! Stop heading backward and turn towards God.

     Remember that God loves you!…and so do I.

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