Daily Dose, Aug. 3

 

Davidman tells a story about a missionary who traveled to a remote land, and there he found a violent and barbarous tribe. He was hard at work trying to convert a native chief. Now the chief was very old, and the missionary’s version of Christianity leaned heavily on thou-shalt-not’s. The chief listened patiently as the missionary described his faith.

“I do not understand,” he said at last. “You tell me that I must not take my neighbor’s wife.”

“That’s right,” said the missionary.

“Or his ivory, or his oxen.”

“Quite right.”

“And I must not ambush him on the trail and kill him.”

“Absolutely right!”

“But I cannot do any of these things!” said the man regretfully. “I am too old. To be old and to be Christian, they are the same thing!”

How many people think of Christianity as something dull, sapless, and joyless? When we “try to be negatively good and make a virtue of misery;” when we “measure our piety by the number of pleasures we prohibit;” when we puff up ourselves for rejecting delights for which we are too weak — we are in danger of forgetting that God is joy. He is the source of all pleasures; he is fun and light and laughter, and we are meant to enjoy him.

“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again — rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4) — Wes Maston, Director of Discipleship