Think About It: My Bad

maxresdefaultBack in the day, when we shot basketball, we used the phrase, “my bad”. This phrase was said when you missed a shot, when you missed blocking a shot or if you just made a mistake. It was acknowledging what you did was your mistake. It was ownership of your “bad”. Today as I look at the news I want to say “my bad”.

I have a part in creating the bad in my society because of my lack of proclaiming the Lord in and through my life, my family and community. What was my part? Pride! The problem we all face today is prideful sin. We like to point the finger at the other folks and blame them for our condition/situation. Yes I know that before Christ I contributed to the godlessness of my family and community by not truly submitting to God.

When I think about my past submission to authority, I realize it was only outward submission not inward. Now I understand that it takes an inward change. When there has been an inward change in the heart of a person the outward actions will be different. An inward change reflected outward means, if I used to sleep with every woman I could because she made herself available; when I change, I stopped and commit to one woman because God changed me inside out. Another example is, If at one time I contributed to enslaving folks with substance and alcohol; when I change, I stop and give them hope because there has been a change in my life.

Today I see a godless generation who neither respects God or man. It is sad, but we Christians are quick to point the finger and say, “See, Look at them folks on television acting a fool.” May we pray for those who are lost? It is hard to submit to any authority if you have not submitted to God’s authority, which by the way He placed folks where they are. It doesn’t matter if you don’t agree with them. The President, governors, police officers, and all governmental authority have their authority only because God has given it to them. If they are not being responsible in their offices then God will deal with them. Now, this does not mean you should turn your back on injustice or immorality; it means you pray and say, “thus says the Lord” and you leave it alone. Listen to the word of God.

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. – 1 Peter 2:13-17

pic_giant_042715_SM_Baltimore-Riots-G_0Let me break that down for you! You and I are to obey the authorities for the Lord’s sake. If the authorities are doing wrong, do we fight back with physical force? Did Jesus? Yes, we protect our families. But do we take the law into our own hands as if we are the Law giver? No! So what do we do with the stuff we see on television and the media shower of out of control violence? Christian folks, we pray. Church folks we love. Citizens of the United States of America we submit to authority. We all have our secret sins, right? But it is so easy; it is so tempting for the same pride that is suffocating the rioters to choke us out. They have the pride that injustice requires action, even unlawful actions. We have the pride that rioting requires actions and it does, but not ungodly name calling. Prideful hearts say, “Look at those folks I would never act that way”! But haven’t we. Were we not walking in sin before Christ and aren’t we still struggling with pharisaic pride.

Listen, The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank Thee that I am not as other men are: extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican – Luke 18:11

The Apostle Paul was a violent man whom God changed to serve Him and whom God used to write the majority of the New Testament Letters. Now at the time Saul was a very educated and successful man but he was violent. I say this because folks want to keep saying we need more education. If there is not a heart change then your educated sinful nature creates more ways to kill, steal and destroy. So, Paul was changed and he stopped being the person he used to be. His desires were no longer to please himself but God. So the change must be a change from God right? Oh there is one problem; our nation does not want to be one nation under God any longer. Should we be shocked at godlessness?

So for us redeemed folks, we need to continue in the followship of the Apostle Paul who said, “Follow me as I follow Christ”.

download (1)We need to follow Paul’s example. Paul wrote a letter from jail (unjustly arrested) to the people (letter to the Philippians) who hurt him and had placed him in jail in the past. He wrote to them because he was healed from that initial bad relationship through God. That is called forgiveness. The violence of Paul’s day did not keep him from proclaiming the truth of God and by the way, Paul admitted that he was wrong in the past and that he had contributed to the Pharisee’s sinful mindset and actions. In other words Paul was able to say, “My bad”.

In Act 26 Paul said,

I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s people in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities – Acts 26: 9-11

You see, the very educated Paul was able to admit his part in contributing to the wrong thinking and violent actions of his society. Need I discuss American history? No! I am just going to say, “My bad” and continue in the tradition and example of Paul. Submit to those in authority and speak the truth in love before governors, presidents, and poor folks. What are you going to do? Think about it.

Miller Eichelberger
Disclaimer: The thoughts and views published on the Veterans to Christ blog are those of Miller Eichelberger are meant to represent the United States Army or the Armed Forces.

Miller Eichelberger “Ike” is a chaplain in the United States Army. He has served for over 25 years of combined time as an enlisted Soldier and chaplain. He has deployed three times to Iraq from Desert Storm to Operation New Dawn. Chaplain Eichelberger holds a Bachelors of General Studies degree with concentrations in Psychology and Religion from William Carey University, and a Master of Divinity degree in Leadership from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He is endorsed by the South Baptist Convention’s (SBC) North American Missions Board (NAMB). He has been married to Leslie Eichelberger 19 years and they have three children.