Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Monday, October 5, 2015
Out of Our Minds
There’s a denigrating expression circulating that mocks our faith – “In order to be a Christian, you have to check your brain at the door.” The phrase implies we have lost our marbles or that we are out of our minds in our beliefs. Ironically, this taunt carries Truth – Christians are out of their minds because they have the mind of Christ, a far better situation (1 Corinthians 2:16).
Whereas most do not understand our situation, society’s message could not be more clear: Christians aren’t considered normal. The media take special delight in mocking Christians. TV host Bill Maher even claims Christians have a neurological disorder and mocked us in his film “Religulous”, which derives its name by combining the words “religious” and “ridiculous”. Anyone who is out of their mind and in the mind of Christ knows how ridiculous his position is. He needs our prayers.
It’s easy to poke fun at people who don’t follow the ways of the world or who operate based on their faith in God. It’s also easy to become disheartened at the mockery, but we aren’t the only Christian society to endure such mockery and slander. Ever since Christianity began, Christians were mocked and belittled. Jesus felt the full brunt of both religious and secular accusers. Certainly the Pharisees did not think Jesus calling Himself the Son of God was normal. They thought He was out of His mind – a certifiable lunatic. Ironically, Paul (then called Saul), Jesus’ most ardent persecutor, would take on the mind of Christ and pen 1 Corinthians 2:16. God often tuens the tables on those who try to mock Him.
The apostles fared no better (Acts 4). Peter and John were seized by the priests, temple guard, and the Sadducees as they spoke to the people. The same committee called them repeatedly for interrogation. In Acts 5, the apostles were put in jail for their “crazy” beliefs, considered “out of their minds”, only to be released from jail by an angel of the LORD. As they continued to teach the Gospel the next day, they were defended by one person, Gamaliel, but were still flogged later. But as we know, they were normal too.
After his conversion, te Apostle Paul experienced the persecution of the world. Many who heard Paul speak considered him to be out of his mind. Paul suffered greatly and was forced many times to flee in order to escape persecution. He suffered imprisonment multiple times, was flogged five times, was three times beaten with rods, three times shipwrecked, in danger from bandits as well as the religious rulers, and was deprived of sleep and food (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). Surely this man appeared to be out of his mind to put up with such abuse. In fact, in verse 23 he claims as much.
Undeterred, Paul answered the critics wisely, saying, “If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.” (2 Corinthians 5:13). Paul was willing to live his life for Jesus Christ even if people thought he was out of his mind. He was well aware of society’s circumstances and how people thought. “We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men. We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ!” (1 Corinthians 4:9-10).
It can seem a strange life to those observing Christians, watching us who are called to turn the other cheek, repent and submit to God, abstain from sexual immorality, drunkenness, and foul language, and to forgive our enemies. These things go against the ways of the world, which glorify and recommend payback and retaliation, saying “Don’t get mad, get even!” But Paul espouses the Christian life at all times. “We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly.” (1 Corinthians 4:12-13).
The ways of God and Jesus Christ are not considered normal by the world. Just the opposite, the world frequently questions whether a Christian is out of their mind by loving his neighbor or casting not the first stone. What they don’t understand is how Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced He died for us all, if we will only accept Him as our LORD and Savior. God’s Holy Word tells us it is normal for us to be out of our minds (2 Cor. 4:13), as long we3 have His mind (1 Corinthians 2:16).
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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