My son has an X-Box and one of the games on it is called Fruit Ninja. It’s an awesome game, particularly when you’re playing in a group and they’re all cheering you on to slice, kick, chop and punch. Oh, the pressure to run the score up when you’re playing against family members, but especially when you’re playing against your four-year-old granddaughter. It’s so much fun to see the fruit being annihilated on the screen, the family cheering, the music crescendoing, and your pulse racing faster. It’s exhilarating! But it got me thinking. How many Christians are out there that act fruity? You know, the kind you want to slice, kick, chop and punch? But alas, Jesus tells us not to eat the fruit, or chop the fruit tree down, or slice it up. God’s ways are not our ways, even though our ways seem to be more fun.
These are the ones who always say, “Just believe. All things are possible, supernatural and spiritual.” There’s no talking to them because they have a scripture for everything, and it drives us bananas. I would love to slice them, come back with the perfect scripture to counter their super-spiritual take on life, but Jesus has another way. It’s called long-suffering, bearing with one another. So the slice has to wait.
Their envy is always showing. No matter what testimony you have, they have a better one. No matter what miracle God did for you, God did a bigger miracle for them. No matter who you know, they know someone more important. I would love to squeeze them and let all that green, sticky, sour lime juice run out of them until they have nothing more to say. But Jesus tells us to encourage one another, build one another up, recognizing that we need each other, that we need every part of the Body of Christ to make us whole. So the squeeze will have to wait.
These Christians run in clusters. They’re never separated so they attack with a group mentality. They find you alone and gather around you, put their hands on your head and shoulders and start praying loudly, telling everybody your emotional condition. You just wanted to be alone but now everybody’s attention is on you – the needy one. Oh, I would love to pick them off of that invisible branch and let them shrivel up in the sun to become raisins. Yet Jesus whispers to our hearts, “Love one another. Forgive one another even as God forgives you in Christ.” So the picking and shriveling will have to wait.
No matter what happens with these Christians, it always goes pear-shaped. They’re toxic with their words and attitude, they know just how to annoy and irritate us. They get under our skin and no matter how much we try to avoid them on Sunday morning, they have a gift of finding us. If I only had a paring knife to take the edge off of them, to carve out that attitude and make them more like Christ. But then I understand, God is using them to make me more like Him. By going the extra mile, turning the other cheek and praying for them, Jesus is changing me. And so the paring knife must stay in its sheath.
Imagine if we all played fruit Ninja every Sunday morning at church. It would be weekly crucifixion. But by doing things Jesus’ way, it’s resurrection. I have learned to take my frustration out on the X-box and let Jesus live out His love through me on the real stage of life.
About the Author: Dan Chesney has been in ministry over 25 years. He has served as a missionary to Europe, pastored three churches and traveled to over 40 nations evangelising. He has authored a number of book and uses media extensively to reach the world through getlifegroup.com, a video based discipleship online community. Dan worked as a therapist and counselor before going into the ministry and as a result his wife has joined him to strengthen marriages, families and relationships. They have three children who are all married, all love Jesus and work with them in ministry. You can find Dan on the web at http://getlifegroup.com