There is an old saying that opposites attract.
Often it is used in the awkwardly romantic, Paula Abdul-esque way to describe how couples…er, compliment one another.
- Mrs. Always Late marries Mr. Electronic Organizer
- Mr. Arm Chair Quarterback/Wanna-Be Gladiator marries Mrs. Doily Crocheter
- Mrs. Wakes With The Dawn marries Mr. Up By The Crack Of Noon
I guess it does happen from time to time, but honestly, I think the more common occurrence is in the attraction of opposites that truly are opposite. They don’t complement each other, in fact, they don’t even like each other. But, despite their disdain for one another they end up being just like the other.
- Republicans and Democrats
- Your NFL team and my NFL team
Just plug in any rivalry and you’ll see what I’m talking about. When opposites attract it usually is not a marriage of convenience, or even compatibility. Yet, it’s often amazing just how similar those opposites can be.
This is a common theme in Scripture. So often we think that one thing is opposite another, but the truth is they are more closely associated than we ever hoped or dreamed.
Check out this verse from the book of Proverbs:
Proverbs 18: Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.
If you just take these two ‘characters’, on the surface they appear to be polar opposites. On one hand you have the destroyer, and on the other you have the slacker.
One is innately evil, the other is just lazy. One is about the business of destroying, and the other is about the business of doing nothing.
In most of our minds we would take these two individuals and put them on opposite ends of a continuum.
Funny though, the Bible doesn’t do that, at all. In fact it says quite clearly that the destroyer and the slacker are brothers. In other words, the active evil doer is a blood relative to the do-nothing/don’t get involved kind.
If you’re like me and you probably thought these two were complete opposites, well, maybe they are… opposites attract!
Instead of being distant enemies, they are close relatives. Instead of being on opposite ends of some spectrum, their behaviors come full circle and they are closer than brothers.
It’s a bit difficult to believe, but since the Bible indicates that an active destroyer is just about the same as a do-nothing slacker we are still looking for the opposite of the destroyer? Which then, of course must be the same thing that’s the opposite of a slacker.
The true opposite here is equally distant from being both a destroyer and a slacker. If I can come up with a new term: it’s a hard worker/builder upper.
In other words the opposite of destroying isn’t doing nothing, and the opposite of slacking isn’t tearing down. The opposite of them both is equally different from either: not a destroyer but a builder/encourager, and not a slacker but an engager/provider.
Why is this even important?
Because we have a Christian culture that has the wrong mindset about what it means to be godly. We think that being godly means not doing anything wrong, you know the opposite of being evil.
Unfortunately though, oftentimes not doing anything wrong is the blood relative of doing something wrong. More often than not, sitting still in the kingdom of God is not the answer.
Godly does not mean simply the opposite of wrong, because you can do that by simply doing nothing. Being truly godly is more than not doing wrong, it’s doing right.
This same book of Proverbs that we’ve been looking at is filled with examples.
It’s not just good enough to remain silent, godly people speak out for what is right.
It’s not just good enough to pray for someone, godly people intervene whenever they’re able.
It’s not just good enough to be disgusted at injustice, godly people risk their lives in pursuit of what is right.
As you focus on how to make God first in the many different areas of your life, remember that we do not serve the God of the omission, but the God of the commission.
We are not trying to find ways to avoid getting in trouble, because that’s not the opposite of evil. We are trying to find ways to bring the light into the darkness, hope to the hopeless and healing to the broken.
That… is the opposite of evil
God did not save you to set you on the sidelines and make sure you stay sparkling clean. You have been redeemed to make a difference in your world, and if you want something to change in your life, you’ve got to change something.
One Reply to “Opposite Attract”
Sometimes being that doer is painful as I found out these last few days. While I did sit on it awhile..seeing a Christian friend acting very nonChrist like, attacking, belittling and even mocking those that didn’t share his views…I took that time to pray about how to handle it..what to say..plus my son comes first so I didn’t have time to deal with it over the weekend but it gave me time to consider and pray what to say exactly. I knew I couldn’t just pretend things were ok or be silent on the problem.
I will admit that it wasn’t something I wanted to do and even quietly hoped the problem would just go away. I didn’t ask to be brought in the middle of this fight going on either. But I realized it wasn’t an accident that I just happened to have contacted this person right before this all blew up and things got bad really fast. For whatever reason God put me there on purpose. He does stuff like that. It not any accident either..its very obvious. Love Him for that too. 🙂
So yesterday I just collected the information I needed…tested the waters.prayed about what verses to present…and I did feel a two way communication going on between me and Lord on this…He apparently is very concerned about this fellow too. And today the time finally came and as lovingly as possible I became a doer. And pray he listens. I know full well I might have lost a friend..that he might truly be incapable of seeing the errors of his ways or he might just rant and rave at me and hopefully sometime down the road come to his senses and at least start acting like a Christian.
I am his friend ..just an internet friend but sometimes that is all people have. And I really do care about him as a Christian brother. To remain silent yet being supportive of him as a person just wasn’t right and wasn’t working. I can’t be his friend and say I care but do nothing..especially when he is so deep in sinning against his brothers and sisters. That is like saying to a friend about to walk off a cliff and doesn’t see it, yet you do and say..’Have a great day! Enjoy your trip!’ I mean how uncaring and cold is that? That isn’t being a friend at all. They are waving and smiling to you as they fall off the cliff you gave them no warnings at all about. What kind of friend does that?
So while you are right for sure on this..that its not enough to do nothing…sometimes doing something is not very easy at all. Hope this made sense.