Playing Possum

Last night, the dogs barked like crazy for a while. Steve even put on his “head light” and went out to make sure nothing was around the chicken coop. This morning when I pulled out of the drive, there was a dead possum in our front yard. Guess there was a reason for the ruckus last night. And yes – it was definitely dead!

The word opossum is from Powhatan language and was used for the first time in Jamestown in 1607 by John Smith to describe an animal that he saw as a beast the size of a cat, with a tail like a rat, and the head was similar to a swine. Possums are known for, well, “playing possum!” As a defense mechanism, possums will pretend to be dead or “play dead,” hoping a predatory animal will lose interest and leave it alone. It can last from 40 minutes to 4 hours!

This got me to thinking how Christians play “the opposite” of a possum. Instead of “playing dead,” many are “playing alive” when it comes to their Christian walk. They make sure that they are there every Sunday morning – at least for the worship service, for they’d have to get up too early to make it to Sunday School. They like to tell everyone how righteous they are, how active they are in the church, and they are praying for you. They talk a good talk, but they aren’t truly walking the walk. Ananias and Sapphira said that they gave the whole purchase price of their property to the church, but they were “playing possum!” They lied. Peter called them out, saying, “. . .thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.” In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told His disciples “That when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they many be seen of men. Verily, I say unto you, They have their reward.” They were “playing possum.” The scribes and Pharisees were accused of being like “white sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” (Matthew 23:27)

Friends, “whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord.” (Colossians 3:17) Don’t play possum! Be the real deal! God Bless, Courtney

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