Philippians 2:14-16 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.
I heard a pastor say once, “No one is above reproach.”
I say, “Not true pastor.”
Positionaly — or how a Christian is related to God the Father — we are holy and blameless. Justified. You’ve heard the cliché saying, justification means “just as if we’ve never sinned.” Justified means declared righteous. Theologians call that vertical — God to man.
Horizontally — man to man — we must fight to remain above reproach. We fail to be above reproach when our actions — or words — hinder our spreading of the gospel. For example: let’s say you hate to cut your grass and your yard looks like an out of control jungle. Your neighbor’s house is valued not only on the way it looks, but your house and yard determine his home value.
Every day that neighbor looks out his window and sees your yard and curses you for it. There’s nothing wrong with not cutting your grass. Right? I mean we live in America. We’re free to have the yard we want on our property.
Well… let ‘say that neighbor isn’t a Christian. Sunday at Church the pastor’s message is about the good Samaritan and sharing the gospel. You get all excited and can’t wait to get home and invite your neighbor to church — that same neighbor that curses you every time he looks at your yard. Are you free to have the yard you want? At that moment, you are not above approach.
I have known men above reproach. Men who let nothing in their lives prevent them from sharing the gospel. They never shared their political views. We never knew anything about them that would compromise sharing the gospel. Their only reproach was the cause of Christ. Most of those men – they were the elders/deacons in the church I grew up in – are dead. My dad is the only one left.
How could being overweight hinder the spread of the gospel? First of all, let me just make it clear, being overweight is not wrong. How you got that way may be however. Your health determines your energy level — how much energy do you have to spare for the cause of Christ if it takes all of your energy just to live. The world sees gluttony as something that is not only wrong, but disgusting. We must face it, television has determined what the world values. And we want to reach the world.