I’m not going to talk about Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Keith Urban, Paula Abdul, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Harry Connick Jr., Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Lionel Rickie, Kara DioGuardi, or Steven Tyler in this blog. If that’s why you’re reading – sorry, you can return to whatever you were doing before you landed here. What I am going to talk about is what I believe is capturing the hearts and souls of so many Americans, just like American Idol did in the beginning of the show. (No, I don’t think that many Americans are ‘Idol’ fans as they were when the show began.)
“Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.” 2 Thessalonians 3:6
The word “idle” there is actually ‘disorderly’ in the King James Version and is not talking about laziness (although, Americans as a whole tend to be a bit lazier than other nations). The Greek word here is ataktōs, from ‘a’ and ‘tassō’: and means unarranged. ‘A’ denotes union, and tassō, in right alignment or assignment. [Sorry for the Greek lesson, but bear with me so you get the whole lesson.] So, we are told to not hang out with those that are not in right alignment with God and His assignment to us.
“Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you…For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:8, 10
Yep, there it is, the admonishment to not be idle. However, you have to understand right alignment as a Christian to understand what idleness looks like. So, do you know what the assignment of God looks like in your life?
Believe that Jesus died for my sins and accept Him as my Lord
Attend church and fellowship with other believers
Pay God’s tithe (1/10th – not less) to the church to support the spreading of the Gospel
Well, those are all commandments from God and the way of salvation is definitely (and singularly) the first one. However, what I’m talking about is the great commission:
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15-16
Are you going to those in your ‘world’ and spreading the gospel or are you being idle? Let me paint a picture or two of what idle looks like:
– – You spend more time on Facebook than in the Word
– – You spend more time on your couch than the couch of someone in your life that you can influence for the good
– – Your checking account has more withdrawals for fast food, clothes, or entertainment than for the Kingdom of God (which can be your tithes, offerings, supporting a missionary/mission, sponsoring a child or taking care of a widow.)
– – You sleep in on Sunday more often than you attend church
– – Your idea of praying only happens at dinner time and sounds something like this, ‘Dear Lord, thank you for this food. Bless it to the nourishment of our bodies. Amen.”
Here’s the deal – The Creator of all things, King of all kings, and God (yeah, all you superhero fanatics, He’s the real deal, not just on screen) – HE gave you an assignment when you professed your belief in His plan (to send His only begotten Son into our world to save us from eternal damnation, pain, and loneliness in hell when we die). Was what Jesus went through not enough?
*The Passion of the Christ*
Americans today know more about their favorite tv or movie stars than they do about the man, and part of the Godhead, who gave up glory to come to earth, suffer, and take on Himself every sin, pain, and disease, so that we could be reconciled to God, the Father. We, as a nation, complain when we have to get up to change the channel on the television or when the Wi-Fi where we are spending our ‘hard-earned’ cash isn’t “fast enough” for us.
Who’s your idol?
If we don’t put God first in our lives – and you can tell by what holds your attention the most, what you spend the most time doing, and makes the biggest dent in your paycheck – then we have idols in our lives and are being idle with our time. Wake up, America. We are instructed to be imitators of Jesus and He asked His earthly parents why they were looking for Him (when they continued on their journey and realized He wasn’t with them) and said, “I must be about My Father’s business.” *
Are you about God’s business or are you being idle?
If you’ve recently read devastating news on the Internet or seen a story on the news that disturbs you, your reaction should be prayer. When friends or family face trials and are looking for answers and support, do they call on you to intercede on their behalf? Are you tired of hearing the disgusting things Americans are doing to each other?
When you gave your life to God, you probably were all-in, but soon found yourself more like those watching American Idol – a fan. You go to church occasionally and cheer – like fan. You hear about a miracle that has taken place and you offer up a “woot woot!” – like a fan. Something supernatural happens in your life and you acknowledge that it had to be God – the one and only God. Even demons believe and know that, but knowing about and knowing is the difference between a fan and a follower.
Jesus doesn’t need fans, He needs followers – those who will walk as He walked on this earth; those who are about their Father’s business; those who are not American Idle, but Jesus Followers.
Which are you?
* Luke 2:49