J. Oliver Jones
Several years ago in a publication I believe to be the Guidepost there was a short story of a middle aged man who was called to appear for jury duty. He was a hard working, self-employed man who owned a small business with his only employee being his son. Having arrived at the court house he completed a request to be excused from serving on the jury due to his need to work.
As the judge interviewed the prospective jurors he came to this man and seeing his request to be excused from serving he said to him, “Sir, I see you are requesting to be excused from serving on this jury. I often am confronted with people who do not want to give of their time to fulfill their civic duty? How would our judicial system work if everyone was like you?”
“Your Honor,” the man began, “I work hard every day in the small business I began soon after finishing school. I married my high school sweetheart as soon as I could afford a place for us to live. We had three children – after we were married, the oldest who now works beside me each day learning the trade I am teaching him. If I don’t work I don’t get paid! I have never been in trouble with the law, never had an alcohol or drug problem, and have never taken a cent from the government. We take Sunday’s off so our family can go together to church and learn the ways of God. So, sir, to answer your question, I suppose if everyone was like me there would be no need for you or this jury.” Upon hearing this, the judge released him from serving.
This story has recently come back to mind as I contemplate what our world would be like “if everyone was like me.” As a Christian I am supposed to be like Christ. I am to reflect His image to a world that does not know him. So to the degree that I am conformed to His image, I should want everyone to be like me. That sounds strange, does it not? Of course I am not speaking about individual personalities, one’s likes and dislikes, and other personal preferences. God has created all of us with various talents and gifts that make us stand apart from everyone else. What I am referring to is that as Christians we all should have a new nature, a transformed mind, and a Godly moral foundation.
Let me give an illustration of what I mean. If everyone was like you and me, assuming we are both Christians desiring to reflect the image of Christ, then there would be no more need for prisons or jails. Locks on your home and car would be unnecessary, the war against drugs could cease as there would be no more market for their distribution, those who make alcoholic beverages would need to find new jobs, and the pornography industry would be out of business. Women could walk the streets of our largest cities or smallest towns at any time of day or night without fear of being accosted, molested, or worse. No one would need to have a concealed weapon permit and police officers would not even need to carry guns. There would be no use for polygraphs as there would be no lying, and whatever the salesperson told you about the item you were contemplating buying would be the truth. Wars would cease because disagreements could be settled peaceably and without violence. Words such as adultery, abortion, rape, abuse, and murder would become archaic. And every candidate for public office would be an honorable man and woman desiring to please God while truly serving the public.
So the question is this – does this sound like you? If you are a Christian it should. And if it does not then there needs to be some serious soul searching. But if the above does sound like you, then do you not wish everyone was like you? I believe the Apostle Paul was stating this when he told the Corinthians to “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Cor 11:1 NKJV). Paul was in essence telling them that they should be like him because he was imitating Christ. Can you with good conscience tell another person the same? We should all be able to!