I have a mentor that once shared a simple yet illuminating concept with me. It is the idea of Initially vs. Eventually. In evaluating goals or beliefs, time will be the most accurate test. I may tell you I want to lose weight. Initially, you will believe me if you feel I have integrity. If I continue to eat 2 boxes of doughnuts and chase them with 2 liters of coke every day and never exercise, you will eventually know that I am lying to you or deceiving myself. Correcting poor eating habits and being faithful to exercise would tell you I mean what I say.
Thinking in these terms of Peter and Judas it is easy to imagine the following scenario. Initially, both Peter and Judas seemed to be authentic disciples of Christ. Eventually, however, the true state of their hearts was revealed.
Given their track records up to the evening of the last supper, the average person would have most likely pegged Peter to be the traitor. He was always shooting his mouth off and being corrected by the Lord. Then there was that occasion when Jesus rebuked him with ‘get thee behind me Satan.’
Judas on the other hand was trusted to carry the money. Oh, and he was always thinking of what the scripture saith.
The Scripture, however, tells that Judas heart was not right. He loved to curse.
“As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him. As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones.” Psalm 109.17-18
And make no mistake about it — this is Judas for the Apostle Peter cites this passage as referring to him. The psalm gives several insights to Judas’ character.
“For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.” Acts 1.20
While Peter did curse to deny the Lord, it was on his third attempt to distance himself from the Master. I know that he is always painted to be the foul mouthed cussing sailor, and he likely was; but he did not immediately yield in reflex to this. In a final desperate attempt to convince those around he was not a follower of Jesus, profanity was employed.
Now you may be asking, ‘ What in the wide world of sports does this have to do with the start of this post?’ I’m glad you ask. We all need to check ourselves every once in a while. If we say we are believers, do we have congruence between our words and our walk? Do they fit?
The tongue is just an easy way to detect problems early on. The sins of the tongue are numerous– everything from lying to verbal murder. Profanity crude humor etc… These all reveal what is on the inside.
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:29-32
“But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” Colossians 3.8-10
“O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Mark 12.34
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Luke 6.45
I hear so many “christians” that think it is no big deal to speak profanities. Also — crude, sexual humor that makes sin seem so light and ‘no big deal’ are met with applause. Tolerating even enjoying these in personal selections of entertainment is even more common.
Initially, all those professing seem sincere. Eventually, many are revealed to be posers and players. We should all check ourselves every now and then. We should ask ourselves: Will my EVENTUALLY match my INITIALLY??