The lessons I’ve forgotten
In spite of all I’ve learned
Now, I find myself in question
Point the finger at me again
Guilty by association
Point the finger at me again
Ah, yes. “Guilty by association”. We’ve all used this excuse before. “Dad, it wasn’t my fault I swear! I was just with him and they did it. I told them no, so I shouldn’t get in trouble for what they did!”. If I had a dollar for every time I used that excuse, well let’s just say I wouldn’t need any of you. I could buy much better friends.
Throughout my adolescence, there were two people in particular where my parents were a little apprehensive about spending time with. They were watch you adults call, a “problem-child”. However, being the trustworthy parents that they were (and for that I am thankful), they always gave these two guys a chance. Today, these two men hold respectable jobs, both serving our country, and they hold my highest respect.
I have many fond memories with these guys, both in our spiritual discussions, as well as our mischievous escapades. From vandalism of private property to stealing construction barrels and barricading people in their own subdivisions, those were moments that helped to shape me into the person I am today (Side note, feel free to give me the addresses of your worst enemy, and I will ensure that their yard will never be the same).
However, one guy in particular always seemed to know the right words to say to get me into trouble, without fail. It’s like Marty McFly and calling him “chicken, or a gutless yellow turd”, it just always sucked me in. And upon those times when we would get caught, I would try to use the excuse “guilty by association”. While not completely throwing him under the bus, because he would do the exact same thing. We had a mutual agreement, and it worked for many years to come…
I never fully understood the belief that Christians should abstain from spending time with someone who differed from their own beliefs. It seems quite illogical if you ask me. Just because you don’t bank with 5/3 doesn’t mean that I won’t take your money when you pay me. It just simply doesn’t matter. The one thing that infuriated and confounded the Jews was that Jesus associated himself on a daily basis with the ones who were not up to their own standards. I used this analogy a lot over the years. I learned at a young age that the Bible text is a great tool to twist your own will, especially when it came to arguing with adults.
I would say, “How can I be a witness if they can never see me in action?”. Sometimes this worked, and other times it failed. Miserably. And by failure, I mean succumbing to the temptation. You see, I would quickly forget the temptations of Christ, both in the desert and upon the cross. Upon each fleshly temptation, he quietly rebuked the tempter and His flesh, and then asked for strength. If the temptation persisted, then He fled. Simple. Samson could have learned from this example. Instead, he flirted with the idea, and kind of teased it around. Similar to the “welllllll….. I shouldn’t, but let’s try it just a little…” Yeah that’s always worked out for me. Not.
Many times we try to stand up for what we believe is right, but we are faced with the provocation, “Kris, you gutless, yellow turd”. It is at that moment where we must either hold our ground, or give up the fight and enjoy the party. Many times, like Marty McFly I find myself yielding. “Nobody, calls me chicken Biff”. It resulted in many setbacks for the Marty of the past as well as the Marty of the future. However, it wasn’t until traveling back into 1885 that he finally realized that people’s perception of himself was irrelevant. Once he understood this, he was able to walk in the life that was comfortable for him, and his own convictions.
This came in pretty handy in the closing minutes of the flick, when Needles, another antagonist, asked Marty to race down the street. The light was red, tire rubber was burning, and testosterone was pumping. The light flickered green and off Needles went while Marty does a 180 in his Toyota SR5. Marty looks back and sees that a car had pulled out into the road, and realizes that it would have meant instant death if he would’ve raced him.
The last few weeks my personal temptations have taken many forms, and today, I’m tired of being called a “gutless, yellow turd”. I’m here to live my life the way I want to, which happens to be the same life that God has intended for me to live. I don’t have a problem with your lifestyle, so please, don’t have a problem with mine.
Now, I realize that I’ve based this upon movie (albeit one of the best series ever made). But I think that we can all gleam a little something from this. It doesn’t matter when it comes to the opinions of others. I highly doubt that any of you lose sleep when it comes to my opinion of you, and trust me, I’ve got them. All you need to do is ask. Temptation takes many forms, but we must avoid getting ourselves in situations where we are either personally guilty or through our associations. It’s time that I take to the offensive and protect myself from further guilty verdicts, and I would advise the friends of Casey Anthony to do the same.