August 2, 2017 by maryruwe
I was listening to a sermon a few weeks back and the word radical came to mind. I don’t actually remember now the specifics of the comments made along this line but it got me to thinking about being a radical. How many radicals do you know? Are you a radical? Have you ever thought about it? Actually, Jesus was considered a radical in his day, according to the Sadducees and Pharisees. Jesus believed the Word of His Heavenly Father and did extraordinary exploits, like turning water into wine, healing the sick and raising the dead back to life. Now that’s being radical.
The Merriam-Webster’s Desk Dictionary defines the word radical as: fundamental, extreme, thoroughgoing.
Now most of the time when I heard the word radical, when I was a young girl, it was along the lines of being extreme, very emotionally, and going against what perhaps was thought normal. It never seemed to be a positive attribute but always more negative. Since then of course I’ve learned that a person can be a radial in many areas of their lives; such as one who is so thorough in their doing their job right, or so extreme at cleaning their house, or so extreme in counting calories and exercise that they don’t enjoy their job, their home, or even eating a meal. I have known people like that. Can’t say that I’m one! I have to really discipline myself to even “think” about exercise, there always seems to be some dusty areas in my home and my mind seems to always want to celebrate … anything … with food! Ugh! (But just so you know, I’m happy to report at that I’m doing better, so much better. I go to the gym and exercise 1-3 times a week, eating more correctly, quality-wise and portion-size; and my home is kept well except for a bit of dust here and there. Hah!)
Some people are radical about sports. They know all the team names, coaches and team members. They know what year who won what game. Then there are some who watch the news so much they know it better than even some newscasters! I would think that could be termed as radical. Nothing wrong in knowing any of this, so why then does the word radical carry such negativity when associated with Christians rather than a positive one? Glad you asked. I believe it’s because of the war going on between the natural and spiritual side of mankind. We live in a natural environment, but we are actually spirit beings. Think about it. The Bible tells us that God is Spirit, and that He created us in His Image (Genesis 1:26, John 4:24, 1 Thessalonians 5:23). This is a fundamental belief in Christianity but it is extreme and negative to those who choose not to belief this. If the person speaking is an unbeliever or not correctly informed on what the Bible actually teaches, then their comments will probably be negative in regard to the Bible. However, that doesn’t change the truth of the Bible itself; it just means they don’t know the Bible or don’t believe it. Believing anything takes a decision on our part, whether it’s true or not!
As I was thinking about being a radical in regard to being a Christian, these thoughts came to mind:
R – One must recognize that God is the Creator, and one must receive Jesus as Savior. One must be ready to give an answer for why they believe what they believe. (Hebrews 11:3, John 14:6, 1 Peter 3:15).
A – One must acknowledge that God is sovereign (He possesses the supreme power and authority, even though He has given us the right to make decisions). (Matthew 28:18-20, Joshua 24:15)
D –One must discipline themselves according to the Word of God in order to receive the blessings of God. His promises have conditions (He has a part to do and we have a part to do). (Galatians 5:22-25, 2 Peter 1:3-8).
I – One must imitate Jesus in words and actions (saying and doing what is pleasing to our Heavenly Father). (John 5:19 and 30, Mark 16:15-18).
C – One must choose daily to honor God (this includes actions, words, and even our attitudes, not just in church but in our home and in the work place. (Proverbs 18:21, Deuteronomy 30:19)
A – One must accept responsibility for their decisions; we will give an account of our lives to God. (Romans 14:10-12, 1 Peter 4:5)
L – One must love one another as Christ loves us. (John 13:34-35, 1 John 4:11).
As we can see, there are many attributes to being a radical and none mentioned above are negative; they are all good characteristics of the good God who is spoken of in the Bible and who Christians love and serve. Let’s work together – helping one another – to become more like Him.