Ain't dat de Truth! Real Living, Part 1


Junkanoo Beach, Nassau, Bahamas

We met a very nice lady on our first day in the Bahamas. When our hotel room wasn't quite ready, we wandered down to the beach to pass the time. A lovely lady came running over with a handful of homemade necklaces, and after a few minutes of friendly chitchat, it became apparent that she also braided hair. My wife, with her long, thick hair, was already suffering from the sweltering heat, and moments later, she was seated in the shade of a coconut palm having her hair lifted off of her shoulders into a total of 58 tiny braids.

It was while working on my wife's hair that the lady began to speak openly about a certain religious sect that was giving her Bible studies. She was concerned about their tactics; especially their insistence upon only using their own version of the Bible, and only reading publications produced by their denomination.

"How come de Bible ain't de Bible no more? What wrong wid de King James?"

This opened the door for an interesting discussion about the difference between religion and being a follower of Christ, and how God's Word is our guide against the lies of the devil.

"Ain't dat de truth!" She exclaimed emphatically. "I won' let dem come over no more. No sir! I knew dey was up to no good!"

"Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Saviour?" My wife asked as discreetly as possible.

She then hung low her head and answered: "No! I been goin' to a Baptist church, but I ain't become a Christian yet. I almost done it las' week. Soon! I promise!"

How many attend churches without knowing Jesus as their personal Saviour? Is it any wonder that so many believers do not know for sure whether or not they are saved?

There is a huge difference between being religious and being a Christian. Religious people tend to be motivated by extrinsic rewards. The more good deeds they perform, the more chance they have of reaching heaven. Others who don't perform as well are viewed as inferior, and are often judged without mercy. Among these are the ones who lead the Crusades, as well as those who went on witch hunts and condemned innocent people to the stake. These examples may be extreme, but anyone who believes he is superior to others because of his knowledge or his actions, or anyone who condemns others is no better!

"You act so superior, sticking your noses in the air - act superior to me, God-of-the-Angel-Armies! And when you do offer something to me, it's a hand-me-down, or broken, or useless. Do you think I'm going to accept it? This is God speaking to you!" (Mal 1:13 The Message)

"Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors." (Rom 2:1 The Message)

On the contrary, real Christians are intrinsically motivated. Their biggest reward is not what they can obtain from others, but rather, getting to know their Saviour on a personal level! They fall head-over-heels in love with the One who saved them. They can't help loving God and all of His creation in return. They know with certainty they are saved, and they never, ever consider themselves as being superior to anyone. They are motivated by divine love alone!

"Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance…" (Eph 1:13-14 NIV)

"The way we know we've been transferred from death to life is that we love our brothers and sisters. Anyone who doesn't love is as good as dead." (1 John 3:14 The Message)

The difference between being a Christian and being religious is quite simple:

"Here's how you tell the difference between God's children and the Devil's children: The one who won't practice righteous ways isn't from God, nor is the one who won't love brother or sister. A simple test." (1 John 3:10 The Message)

Don't stand on the fence admiring both sides. Later will never come until it is too late! Real living starts by knowing the Only One who really matters!

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10 NIV)

P. S. The braids sure helped my wife to not suffer as much from the heat. We must continue to pray for the lovely lady who patiently put each one of them in. May she experience the One who is the coolest of all! We believe for a miracle!

"Ain't dat de trut?"

Rob Chaffart

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