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Guilty?

Most of us have undoubtedly heard that common question, “If you were arrested today for being a Christian, would you be found guilty?” But maybe we’ve just brushed it aside without giving it the thought that it should have deserved. Why don’t we make that question just a little stronger and a little more personal? “If I were arrested today for being a Christian, would I be found guilty? Would I?”

More than likely, we would look back on our lives and answer that we most likely would be found guilty. After all, we’ve gone to Church since the early days of our childhood, haven’t we? And haven’t we been brought up knowing that we must pray before and after we eat a meal, and before we go to bed at night? Most of us have gone to a Christian school and have at­tended catechism classes. So we would definitely be inclined to answer that we certainly would be found guilty if we were to go on trial for being a Christian.

Let us go back to the question and change the position of one word. We can change the meaning slightly by making the question read, “If I were arrested for being a Christian today, would I be found guilty?” Now we must consider this question in a different light. Rather than looking back at our lives as a whole, we must look back to the time we woke up this morning and began to undertake our daily duties, whether it be work at school or at a job. We must consider the attitudes we’ve taken regarding it; work which we must do, the attitudes towards those with whom we work, and the attitudes which others form about our­selves.

First, we’ll consider the Christian-like attitude of facing the job which we must do. We have all been given different talents and different interests. We must each uti­lize our individual talents to the greatest of our ability, and also do our work to our fullest capacity, in doing this, it is also our duty to honor and glorify our God, and constantly be thankful to Him for these gifts which He has bestowed upon us. It is wrong of us to seek the “greener grass on the other side” simply because it offers more money and a higher status in society. God has not given all of us the abilities to reach these higher positions. Rather, it is our duty to seek stature in those areas in which we have been placed. We must not look enviously at someone who has created a high image for himself; we must realize that God has given him his talents, too. However, this does not mean that we cannot seek to attain a higher goal than the position in which we are now. We are to strive for the highest achievement of the talents God has given us.

If a co-worker were called to the witness stand to testify of the attitude we took about our job today, what impression would he give the jury? Would this witness say that we were happy to do the work that we did, or would he testify that we looked at our job as drudgery, feeling that we are insignificant, or envious of those working around us?

And what about our altitudes towards those people with whom we come in daily contact. Do we act as Christians towards them or shove them aside as though they are not good enough for us? Do we pull up our noses at some of them just because they may not be particularly attractive to the eye, or because of some other trait with which we do not wish to associate? It is certainly not very difficult to think of our­selves as being better than the neighbor, for the big “I” likes to show itself quite often.

Finally, and probably most important of all, what do the people with whom we associate think of us? We often try to make ourselves conform as much as possible to the world. We follow the latest fads be­cause we do not want to be considered “square.” Not that we must completely ignore the world, and live alone in groups to avoid the influence of the world, but we should follow the fads to moderation. The deeper meaning of many of the modern day fads is one of sinfulness. For instance, the clothing and various other items on the market today, are advertised as being able

to “turn on the opposite sex.” Another thing which gives others a great impression of ourselves is the language which we use. There is much corruption of the tongue these days, and by constantly hearing these words which take God’s name and His creation in vain, it would be easy for us to pick up these words and use them our­selves. If not actually say them, at least think them. Also, just sitting by and listen­ing to someone rattle on with his foul tongue can be taken by a bystander to mean that we are accepting them.

Now let us return to our original question and consider what the verdict of the jury would be. Innocent? Insufficient evidence? Or, guilty?