Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Disney Models of Comical Integrity

Suggested Reading: Romans 3:1-8

When she was younger, one of my daughter's favorite Disney shows was Austin & Ally. In one episode, a mysterious blogger was taking pictures and videos of Austin and misrepresenting them on her website in order to destroy Austin's singing career. To discover the blogger's identity, they came up with a plan to promise, via email, embarrassing pictures of Austin and then wait to see who picked them up.  But instead of delivering blank pieces of paper like they had planned, Austin's friend actually delivered embarrassing pictures. When Austin and Ally got mad he responded, "I know she is going to misuse them but I made a promise and I am a man of my word!"

Their friend's "mistake" was meant to be comical but in many ways it is a great illustration of God's faithfulness. Romans 3:3-4 reads, "What if some were unfaithful? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar” (NIV).

We live in a world where it is often acceptable to go back on our word if another party does not live up to an agreement, where we are only expected to treat well those people who treat us well, and where another person's bad behavior is often used as an acceptable reason for us to behave badly. But to quote a very old maxim, "two wrongs don't make a right." Our good behavior or personal faithfulness should not be dependent on another person's behavior. We should be mature regardless of whether other parties are also being mature. We should keep our word regardless of whether other people keep their word. And we should strive to be faithful in every circumstance because God is faithful to us in every circumstance regardless of our own faithfulness.

Are you being tempted to go back on your word because someone else is behaving poorly? Are you thinking about getting back at someone who hasn't been faithful by being unfaithful yourself? Have you decided that someone else's bad behavior requires you to behave badly in order to set things right? Don't let someone else determine your integrity. Be faithful regardless, because God is always faithful to you. 

What Did You Think Was Going to Happen?

Suggested Reading: Judges 16:4-21 or Judges 16 (the whole Samson and Delilah story) I may lose some readers over this statement, but.....