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CHURCH HAPPENINGS — Week of Jan. 22

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By Jon Rohr

Another season of American Idol has kicked off and once again hopefuls are auditioning across the country. And though I don’t really watch, I have seen a few episodes and it is the auditions that amaze me.
You can watch for a few minutes and see the anxious and hopeful faces, hoping to experience a dream come true. And many of those men and women are amazingly talented, but then there are the others. If you have seen the show then you know the ones I mean.
Maybe they arrive knowing they don’t stand a chance but hoping to have a little fun. That’s all fine, but then there are the folks who just can’t sing to save their lives. And they just can’t understand why they didn’t get picked.
Somehow they really believe they can belt out a tune, but the rest of us know the truth. Perhaps her parents didn’t want to hurt her self esteem. Perhaps his friends never told him the truth because they don’t want to hurt his feelings. But you would think that somewhere, someone would tell them. If they just listened to a recording of themselves they’d know.
But then again, most of us are good at self deception. We believe what we want to believe about ourselves, even when the truth is plain for all to see. For example, if I was as good with money as I think I am, then maybe my savings account would look better. The Bible tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 NIV)
Those singers really believe they can sing, but they have deceived themselves. And all too often we deceive ourselves as well. Maybe not about singing, but often about much more important things. Things like our relationship with God, like whether or not we will enter heaven.
We think we are good people, but the Bible says, “There is no one righteous, not even one.” (Romans 3:10 NIV) We think we can make it to heaven any way we want, but Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 NIV)
Idol is really just a big game show, and if someone is wrong about their talent it isn’t a big deal. But life is not a game show, it is the real thing, and God’s truth is real. Don’t let yourself get fooled, don’t let your heart get deceived. Our one hope is not our own goodness, it is not our charitable donations or our kindness to kittens, our true hope is in Jesus Christ. So, whether in tune or out, be sure you are singing the song of faith in Jesus.