I have been watching the events in Egypt with astonishment. I have marvelled at the courage of the people, and there is no doubt that the world has changed dramatically. Twitter, Facebook and the internet in general gave them a “weapon” which was never before possible, and put the world in a place where revolution can take place with scarcely any bloodshed. There is no doubt that the impact which the protest had on the shaky economy also brought pressure to bear, as did the worldwide TV coverage. Thirty years of authoritarian government ended in fewer days.
I have blogged before about perfection in Being Perfect and it is one area where I tend to get into disagreement with other Christians, even Pastors. Most people I talk to say that it is impossible to be perfect. Bearing in mind my own track record, I tend to agree with them. But – and it is an almighty but – we are told to be perfect by Jesus himself :
You must be perfect â€” just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48, TEV)
It doesn’t seem to matter what translation you use. I looked at 15 different versions, and all of them, with the sole exception of The Message, used the word “perfect”. In all of these translations, it wasn’t a request, it wasn’t a suggestion. It was a command.
When my brother and I were very small I remember that we would sometimes get the giggles. I am sure that we started laughing for some valid reason, but when it got out of control we were just laughing because we were laughing. There was no stopping it, even with the threat of punishment from whatever authority was lurking near us who could not see the funny side of things.
I like to see people laughing, and I love to make people laugh. I too like a good laugh, and I would rather laugh than cry. Sometimes I go back to the old days with my brother and laugh so much that I can’t stop and laugh so much that it hurts my stomach. Sometimes I laugh so much that I cry. In the wonderful years since I met Libby and became a Christian I have laughed a lot. When you have a good life, laughter is easy.
A friend of mine will shortly set out on an amazing adventure – to climb Mount Kilimanjaro – to help raise funds for the charity Scottish Spina Bifida. I really admire him for that. It will take courage, strength and endurance. You can sponsor him if you would like to give him a wee bit more encouragement.
But I ask myself why he doesn’t just walk round it. After all, when we face problems in our lives, some of them look like mountains, and that’s often the easiest thing to do, isn’t it – walk round them? Sometimes we don’t even do that – we just stand there and look at them. They are huge! I’ll never get over it! Scientists say that Mount Everest is getting higher all the time. As we just stand and look at our problems, they get bigger too. Sometimes we can’t even see the top.
Can you remember the worst thing you have ever done? What category does it fall into – embarrassing, dodgy, illegal, evil? Is it worse than anything anyone you know has ever done? Does it scream at you, or merely give you a nudge? Was it a long time ago, or fairly recent? Maybe it was a one-off, or perhaps a serial occurrence? Does it lie in wait for you, or is it in your mind all the time?
Answers on a postcard to…..