Reflections: a bag with holes


Editor’s note: This is an opinion column.

By Michael J. Brooks, Special for The Tribune

Best-selling author James Patterson, in his new autobiography, recounted being on the “Oprah” show in Chicago. He and his co-author came out to promote their latest book which had a lot of questions they called “mostly ridiculous”. Ms. Winfrey took one of the questions and posed it to her audience: “For two million dollars, could you give up your faith?

An audience member replied, “I couldn’t do it. My faith is too important to me. Not even for two million dollars.

The public applauded his commitment.

Later, Winfrey asked another question from the book: “Could you kill a stranger for two million dollars?”

The same woman replied, “For two million dollars, yes, I could. From a great distance. With a gun.

Patterson wrote, “We could all see why this woman needed her church.

I guess the moral of this story is that we can be strong in one area of ​​life and fail in another!

It is certainly true. I have known church members who loved and served their churches, but their faith did not prevail. Their family life is gone. I have known a few people in positions of trust, administratively gifted, who have found ways to embezzle money. I heard a gospel singer lately talk about how his life was turned upside down because of the alcohol addiction he hid from public view for many years.

Haggai, the Old Testament prophet, thundered God’s judgment against the people of Judah. He said their moral contradiction was like a bag with holes – they thought they were making progress, but their inconsistent service to God meant they were losing very important things.

The Christian faith requires submission in all areas of life. We cannot choose between areas of commitment when we come to Christ. The New Testament teaches his lordship over everything.

This word is not one we use much today and may have lost some of its impact.

Saddleback’s Rick Warren tried to use the word “CEO” to convey this commitment, but it didn’t have the impact he was hoping for. We don’t bow to a CEO and trust them with our whole lives.

But in the world of the first century, lordship communicated. The Roman Empire required citizens to affirm Caesar as lord. To refuse to do so meant rebellion against the state. But Christians knew a higher commitment: Christ is Lord. Many of them met a terrible fate because they obeyed the Lord Christ, and not the Lord Caesar.

We all have areas of growth needed in our lives. We haven’t arrived yet. Our faith is a pilgrimage to greater commitment to his lordship. The old hymn instructs us: “You and You alone, first in my heart, High King of heaven, you are my treasure. -30-

“Reflections” is a weekly faith column written by Michael J. Brooks, pastor of Siluria Baptist Church, Alabaster, Alabama. The church’s website is


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