Don't Diss Me

   Do any of you watch animal shows? I used to love to watch Wild Kingdom, Most of you probably never heard of it. There was a guy named Marv Perkins, who kind of narrated things, and then Jim Fowler (he lives in Albany now) who I looked at as the stunt man. I mean, Marv would sit there and tell you just how vicious an animal was, and then send poor old Jim out to get close to it or capture it. All this, while Marv watched from a TV.

   I know, now you watch Jeff Corbin, Animal Planet, and more. I always liked watching the shows about lions. Those things are awesome. You can hear them roar over a mile away in the jungle. (I know some people that talk that loudÖlike my kids!). Anyhow, have you ever seen two males fighting for lead of the pack? No boxing match comes close to that! They say it sometimes ends in death, but in the end, the winner is respected by all of the pride, male and female, and the challenger wonít even look the winner in the eye. He realizes just how powerful the other is.

   Respect. Aretha Franklin sang a song about it. Everybody wants it. You donít want people just talking any way to you or treating you bad. In the south, we call women ďmaíamĒ and men ďsirĒ. At least, weíre supposed to right? It shows respect. Think of ways we show respect: take your hat off in a building, say please and thank-you, hold the door for someone, and more. At church, we bow our heads and close our eyes for prayer, we donít run in the church, we pay attention and donít talk or disturb others, and we donít fall asleep during Mr Mikeís message!!! Ha-Ha, Okay I was trying on the last one. But when you donít show respect, it is disrespect, right? I know you all have heard the saying, ďDonít diss me.Ē Simply put, donít disrespect me. So there are two sides to the coin.

   Anyhow, that brings me to this. Communion. We celebrate it today. It is an awesome thing, taking part in a command Jesus told us to do showing how His body was broken and blood spilled for us. So today is my first time as a Deacon, taking part in this, and actually performing a function in it. Now you look at me. Jeans, shirt, and tennis shoes. What was I thinking? How disrespectful is that? I know all the questions and thoughts. But you know what? People show respect in different ways, and in such, people have different opinions on how you should look for church and particularly something like this.

   One of the things that drew me to this church, was peopleís willingness to accept who and what you were and it didnít matter if they never has seen you before. I am a firm believer, and have told countless others, you can cover the outside in whatever you want, God looks past that. He looks to the inside. Though some may look in disbelief and view my clothes as a lack of respect, I beg to differ. I brought all I needed.

   But this isnít about me. No, itís about Him. And while weíre on the subject of respect, let me shift gears. As a Christian, I grow increasingly alarmed and concerned for what I see as a lack of respect for Him. How? Well. Let me give a different example. When I drive on the highway, I set my cruise control at 9mph over the speed limit. Why? Because I know, most police give you at least 10mph over the speed limit before they give you a ticket. But Iím still breaking the law. I donít have a care in the world while Iím driving, until I see a GSP. Then I am all in the brake! Why? Because I respect him. I respect their authority. I know they can and do give out tickets for 1mph over the limit. I know they are intimidating when they pull you over, and the list goes on. But when they are out of my sight, I canít see them, so it doesnít matter.

   Iím afraid that we as Christians have gotten that way with God. Things that should matter to us donít, and some things that shouldnít matter do. Itís the first part (should matter and donít) that we are going to be sorry for. See, we have to answer for that stuff. We donít see God face to face, so people have gotten where they donít fear Him. But we should! We justify things in our minds we wouldnít dare if He were standing there. We say and do things we wouldnít if He was there as well. Sometimes people say, well, Iíll just have to answer for that when I get to Heaven. Whoa! Do you realize what you are saying?

   If youíve never been to court, thatís a lonely feeling. Just you and the judge, him above you at a bench and you standing there hoping he had a good day. Been there for several traffic tickets earlier in life. For the youth, think if you ever had to go to the principalís office. You might be tough with your friends, but when itís just you and the principal in their office, you eat a lot of humble pie.

   So multiply that feeling by a gazillion. God, the Creator of all things. The Alpha and the Omega, the one who can destroy the body AND the soul, and we just pass it off and say weíll stand there before Him, and answer for it then, when we could correct it now. Thatís my definition of disrespect. I think He probably sees it that way too. And you know, if weíd base more of our decisions with this thinking in mind, living Christ-like wouldnít be such a hard thing to do.


In His Grace,

             Mike Harris



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