A few days ago, the CBS affiliate in New York reported that a sleazy web site known as AshleyMadison.com had offered $1 million dollars for proof of someone having sex with the football player, Tim Tebow. Tim is a polarizing figure. Christians love him. The world hates him.
In particular, the world hates him because he has declared that he is and will remain a virgin until he marries. He has let it be known that he is a committed Christian and values like chastity matter to him. The folks at AshleyMadison are challenging his core beliefs and betting that his high-profile as a professional athlete will be his downfall. “They are offering big money to any woman who can prove that she has slept with the NFL sensation.”
When I read the article, I couldn’t help but think of Alexander the coppersmith in 2 Timothy 4. In Paul’s letter, he calls out Alexander for opposing his message. Apparently Alex was busy trying to defeat Paul and his ministry. In some way, he was going out of his way to destroy Paul’s testimony. His words were hurtful. His plans were devious and his intent was to do lasting harm.
Well, Alexander rides again…
Too often, folks in our culture delight in bringing down someone else. It is almost a “sport.” Who can say the most hurtful things? Who can dig up dirt on whom and share it with everyone else? It’s a game of “gotcha.” And nobody is winning.
Contrast that with the message in Romans 14:19 where Paul instructs all of us: “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”
Edification is a neat word. Simply stated it means to build up. It is the opposite of what the Alexanders and Ashley Madisons try to do. The etymology of the word is even richer. I understand it literally means “to mend nets.” It is the idea that we should be committed to fixing things, “mending the nets” of our friends and co-workers. Finding ways to build them up. Exchanging encouraging words. Doing thoughtful expressions of care.
This week, our world would be a much better place if you and I were committed to edify those around us. Let’s put a mental bull’s eye right over the sweet face of each member of our family and find practical ways to build them up. Let’s take a second and find a co-worker that needs some encouragement and fill their emotional tank.
And while we are at it, we ought to pray for the spiritual strength of those like Tim Tebow that live their lives in the spot light of the world. Maybe we could even drop them a note. No doubt they could use some encouragement too.
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel