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A LITTLE BIT OF IOWA

January 16, 2016

Text: “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple. How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge? If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you, I will make my words known to you.” Proverbs 1:22-23

In one episode of  the M*A*S*H TV series Hawkeye Pierce raged against Radar O’Reilly’s “Iowa naiveté”. Radar was a short and unassuming character who suffered the slurs of his comrades because of his lack of height and his down to earth values (stemming from his upbringing in small town in Iowa). Seeking respect from his comrades, he ordered and wore a pair of  elevator shoes. When Hawkeye discovered this ploy he ridiculed Radar, but quickly turned to ask him why he had resorted to this device. The youth answered that he wanted to be thought of as the other young soldiers who boasted of their drunken episodes and illicit relations with girls. Hawkeye’s response was, “Radar, just be yourself. Always keep a bit of Iowa in you wherever you go“.

In the days of collecting these diverse proverbs of human and divine wisdom there must have been a lot of “selling out” of responsibility and morals. People paid no attention to the divine guidance of their lives.  The writers of the Proverbs  called them “fools”. Like persons in our era, people wanted to be thought of as sophisticated; of being “part of the crowd”. It is not difficult to “sell out” for popularity, riches, sensuality, or success. Just “go along with the gang”!  Adopt their immorality, indecent language, smoking, drinking, and “living it up”. However, “Be not deceived: evil companions corrupt good morals.” I Corinthians 15:33

A Christian needs to carry with him every day sincerity and purity. Never should he fall into vanity, nor should he fall into sinful behaviors. If “sophistication ”  demeans godliness and holiness, then one must remember that these  are the behaviors that Jesus commanded. These come from God’s word and are passed on from humble followers of the Lord. They are to be taught, modeled, and adopted by every successive generation of Christians. The young usually challenge the beliefs of their elders and feel that they should adopt more moderate mores. They want  to be more modern in their way of life than their forbears. How convenient for Satan to becloud the minds of men to get them to forsake the past and go down the road of sin!  “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality greedy to practice every kind of impurity.” Ephesians 4:17- 19  Of course, Satan is the author of spiritual blindness. “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” II Corinthians 4:4

However, ignoring the truth and accepting Satan’s lies is of our own choosing.  He fabricates the lies, but you swallow them yourself. Come, come! You must be more circumspect and resistant to these “urban legends”. You must think, reason, and choose wisely.  Do not become calloused against the teachings of Jesus.   Accept the duty of  subjecting yourself to the call to holiness that God has given you.  “…but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.” I Peter 1:15 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
7Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

Proverbs 3:5-7

 

REM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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