February 6, 2020
Volume 24, Number 5
If your job is to run a web site to attract tourists to your city, what do you highlight? Highly-rated restaurants? Beautiful local scenery? High crime rates? Lots of things to do? Wait – rewind a bit – “high crime rates”?! Is that any way to attract tourists?
Somehow a tourist’s post on Instagram talking about being robbed while visiting Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was copied onto the official tourism site for that city. The lady, who identified herself as a Brazilian living in Europe, also said that her 9-year-old sister witnessed a violent crime while visiting. Those are not the types of reviews that lure people to visit your fair city.
The post has since been deleted from the web site of the Brazilian Tourist Board, and they commented that it had been posted “by mistake”. They also defended their work in the recent past to promote a nationwide drop in crime.
How this inadvertent posting will affect tourism in Rio remains to be seen. But it illustrates once again the importance of carefully reviewing posts before hitting the “Enter” button.
It has often been noted that the Bible doesn’t back away from full disclosure. Even those who are presented as examples of good living also are shown to be human. For example, David, a man God described as being “a man after My own heart” (Acts 13:22), is also shown to have had an affair with another man’s wife, and then ordering that man to be killed in battle to cover up his sin. Is that any way to portray a hero?!
Peter was the apostle to whom Jesus gave the keys of the kingdom (Matthew 16:19). Soon after that Jesus referred to Peter as “Satan” (Matthew 16: 23) because he opposed Jesus’ plan to go to the cross. This same gatekeeper later denied even knowing Jesus when he was put on the spot (Mark 14:66-72). Paul spoke about having to publicly rebuke Peter for his hypocrisy on one occasion (Galatians 2:11-21).
Why show all these warts and flaws of those who should be role models to the rest of us? Paul gave the reason in 1 Timothy 1. After noting that he himself had been “a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man”, he wrote that he was shown mercy “that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life” (1 Timothy 1:13,16).
This is a message we all need to hear: Jesus is “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Matthew 11:19). Jesus’ enemies said that to insult Him, but He embraced it. He came “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). We all have shameful moments in our past. God knows them, but He loves us in spite of them (Romans 5:8).
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
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Copyright, 2020, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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