Friends in Low Places

September 29, 2016

by Erin Bird

Greetings once again here on the Riverwood blog. Hope you are doing well as you read this. But whether your life stinks right now, or your world feels perfect, I hope the content below will help you find and follow Jesus no matter where you are in your spiritual journey.

For the past few weeks, we've been discovering here on the blog what it looks like to follow Jesus, using Romans 12 as our template. And this week I want to tell you to...

Be Like Garth... And Jesus

Why do I tell you that? Because of what Romans 12:16 says:

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.

(Romans 12:16 ESV)

When I was a freshman in college, the most popular song on my college campus, without a doubt, was Garth Brooks' famous song, "Friends in Low Places." I am not a county music fan at all, and yet even I knew almost all the words to his song because it was played everywhere I went.

I doubt Garth was inspired by Paul's words, but the idea is there. If you claim to be a Jesus-follower, then you are called to live in harmony with one another. And part of the way you can tell if you are living in harmony with others is if you have "low" friends.

Name Dropping of a Different Kind

Since I've already told you one college story, let me share another. During my sophomore year of college when I transferred to John Brown University, one of our guest chapel speakers began his sermon by talking about a conversation he had with a "famous" Christian many of us were familiar with. After telling us about this conversation, the speaker paused, and said, "You know, I was just talking with President Clinton the other day and I was confessing to him that I really need to stop name dropping."

It was a funny joke in the moment, but there was some truth behind it. Many people will "name drop" because if you "drop" the name of someone famous, as if you know them personally, you are therefore somehow more important than those around you, and those you are talking with should respect you more.

Instead, I think Jesus wants us to "name drop" the lowly. Do you know the outcasts of society? Are some of the "social fringe"  your Facebook Friends? And I don't just mean being nice to them. I mean truly associating with them - knowing their names, stories, histories, struggles, etc.

Because this is exactly what Jesus did.

You, as a human, were born with sin. You were lowly. You were became an outcast when your First Parents, Adam and Eve, were kicked out of the Garden for their sin.

But Jesus set aside heaven to come to earth, becoming fully human and associating with you. And then, out of love, He took our place on the cross, dying our death, so we could have his life.

So let's follow Jesus and be like Him. Let's live in harmony with others. Have friends in "low" places. And when you do, rather than be wise in your own sight, you'll be exhibiting the wisdom of Christ.

Erin Bird Lead Pastor - Riverwood Church

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Riverwood Church, Waverly Iowa

We are on a mission to help people love like Jesus loved and live like Jesus lived.

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