TITLE: Playing Darts
DATE: August 10, 2019
TEXT: Matthew 25:40 – ESV - And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[f] you did it to me.’
The great humorist Will Rogers said, *I never met a man I didn’t like.”From what I understand Rogers was so likeable, so down-to earth, he may have actually meant those words.
If so, without trying to be hyper-pessimistic, I would have to say Will would be one of the very few people in this world who could say those words with a totally straight face.
The truth is, no matter what we may publicly profess, most of us have locked away a mental photo of one or more individuals who have ticked us off; or freaked us out. We’re supposed to love everybody, but the truth is, most of us don’t really like everybody. That was a lesson, the ramifications of which one of my professors dealt with a long time ago. One day we walked into class and there was a target hung on the wall. On his desk were some darts.
His first instruction was to draw a picture of an individual whom we disliked.
He explained we were going to have some fun and fling some darts at our pictures. When some of the nice guys protested, he told them do dig a little deeper in their memory banks. They did, and sure enough, every person in the class was able to produce one or more of their very own personal bad guys. One had a girlfriend who had cheated on him; another had a friend who shared confidential secrets, a third remembered a 4th grade school bully.
Everybody had somebody... and those somebodys were, one-by-one placed, up on the big target.
The spirit of the experiment caught on and some of those darts were lucky they didn’t go through the wall and into the next classroom. When it was over, there was a general good feeling. It may only have been symbolic, but we had gotten back and evened out some old scores.
The teacher took down the last picture, and the big target. Underneath them all was a picture of Jesus. Holes and jagged marks covered His face and His eyes were ripped out.
But, as time goes by, I remember that lesson from the classroom. As I see the face of my Savior; that Savior Who was beaten for me; crowned with thorns for me; nailed to a cross for me, I cannot let my darts fly at someone whom He loves so much. As He has forgiven me in my ignorance, stupidity and foolishness, so I must forgive those who have committed minor infractions against me. Not to do so would be to let a dart fly at Him; and that I am not willing to do. I want Him to say about me, ‘Father forgive him, for his sins come from ignorance, not intention.’
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I truly repent of any and all darts that I have thrown at others. In trying to hurt them, I have hurt You. Let my life be lived, dart free and forgiveness filled. In Your Name. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html