By Lou Coleman
“Mama always said, “Stupid is as stupid does” – Forrest Gump.
I tell you, too many of us “Believers” get stuck on stupid. We can be orthodox, faithful in our church attendance, givers, read our Bibles, pray regularly and still be stuck on stupid. Jonah was. In the beginning Jonah was stuck on stupid and he hadn’t learned a thing. And if we continue to keep repeating the same stupid sin, then we too are stuck on stupid. Yes, the truth cuts, but truth never fears scrutiny.
The problem with most of us is that we have an arrested theological development. We go back to the way we always thought and don’t want to be shaken. But as Forrest’s sergeant asked in the movie, “What’s the matter with you? Are you stupid or something?” And just like Forrest, we stand at attention and bark, “Stupid is as stupid does, sir!”
Where am I going with this? Actions speak louder than words. Christian is as Christian does, faith is as faith does, and love is as love does. My friend, if you are still repeating the same sin that you did five years ago; ten years ago or even twenty years ago, and if you’re not growing; if you’re not even baby-stepping spiritually, then you’re probably stuck on stupid. The good news is that you don’t have to stay there. You can grow. You can change… starting today! As the writer of Hebrews challenged, “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Heb. 12:1). God wants all of us to keep growing in grace until He graduates us and takes us home.
You know there is a huge difference between knowing the truth and living the truth. All the things that Jonah said while he was inside the fish were all things that he knew to be true before he set foot on the boat. But even though he knew it, he didn’t live it. Even though he knew all that about God, it still didn’t stop him from running away from God. I tell you at that point we can be a lot like Jonah. We can know the truth about what God has done for us in Jesus, but that doesn’t mean we always live it out. We can know that we have been saved from our sin, but sometimes our lives don’t show it. Jonah never got it. He was stuck on stupid. He never got over his sin of prejudice. He was still bitter and angry as the book closed. He still had a high opinion of himself and he’s hung on to the petty. Jonah never learned the lesson that God was trying to teach him. How about you? Or are you a modern day Jonah? “Stupid is as Stupid Does!”