It’s the season for citrus fruits. I find it amazing that at this time of year coming into winter, God provides these fruits in season to give us the vitamin C we need to keep us healthy throughout the colder months.
I was recently really looking forward to eating a sweet, juicy orange. I knew there were at least three or four in the fruit bowl so I made my way to the kitchen to retrieve what my tastebuds were ready to enjoy. You can imagine my disappointment when I picked up the orange on top to find it was bruised underneath with white mould growing on it. I put it aside to pick up the next, only to find all of the remaining oranges were in the same miserable condition.
There is a common saying that one bad apple spoils the whole barrel. I know it’s not an academic reference but the freedictionary.com describes this idiom as follows:
‘one bad apple spoils the (whole) barrel’
It only takes one person, thing, element, etc., to ruin the entire group, situation, project, etc. Refers to the fact that a rotting apple can cause other apples in close proximity to begin to rot as well.
Unfortunately, we see this often but most frequently through the media. A celebrity will announce that they are a Christian and believe in God, they might even go on to express this through their work. But the way that they live often reveals the opposite, and as a result all Christians are dragged down with them. People start to call us things like hypocritical and fail to see that we are not all like this.
In World War Two, Adolf Hitler convinced the German people that he too was a Christian and had a strong relationship with God. Of course, we know that he in fact was not a Christian, and eventually used his favour with the nation to infiltrate the Church and place his own people in leadership positions.
This is a well known fact among most people, yet I still hear non-believers tell me that Hitler was a Christian. Because of this lie, a lot of people actually believe that Christians share similar ideologies as Hitler.
To illustrate how our actions define who we are, Mathew chapter 7 verse 15 - 20, talks about a tree being known by the fruit it bears: “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.”
Of course, this was in the context of being aware of false prophets, but the idea is the same. If Christians fail to act like Christians by producing good fruit, then the fruit they are producing is most likely going to be bad.
Continuing with this tree analogy, an orange is clearly known by its defining features such as, colour, shape, taste, and smell etc. A Christian, however, is best known by reflecting the nature of Christ in their lives and in their actions towards others. If God has told us to be different to the rest of the world, then a Christian who acts like everyone else, and compromises to ungodly standards, does not therefore, stand out as a Christian rather, they blend in.
In wanting to blend, they run the risk of losing their “saltiness”. Mathew chapter 5 verse 13 says: ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again. It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under foot.’
These are strong words, but ones we should take seriously.
Revelation chapter 3 verse 16 says: “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
While I do feel sorry for Christian celebrities having their personal lives followed so closely by the media, I also feel that they have been given a great responsibility to define what Christians are, set an example and to promote God in a positive manner. It's not just celebrities though, we've all been handed this responsibility to be a representative of God and to be a living testimony of his love for us.
Jesse Moore draws from the Bible and classical literature for insight into life’s tough questions. He is currently studying at university to become a film-maker.
Jesse Moore’s previous articles can be viewed at: https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jesse-moore.html