Think about the kid in your 2nd grade class that ate the paste. You know the one I mean. Now imagine all these years later that someone suggests you name your child (or dog) after this person. Ewwww! Not that name. I could NEVER pick that name. That's the kid who ate the paste!
I got my toe nails painted coral at the salon the other day. Women's Day magazine said coral was "THE" hot color for summer. When I got home, my daughter said "That looks like the color Nanny always gets." It did. Suddenly I didn't feel stylish, but grandmotherly.
In both these examples, the item itself is fine, but by association becomes "guilty."
Did you know that as Christians, we are the only bible some people will ever see? So what are you saying about Jesus, by association? I know I have a tendency to come on strong. I am hot or cold, black or white, should always or should never. I have recently come across a verse that convicted me.
1 Peter 3:15 says "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." Oh, I've given alot of answers for my reasons for believing in Christ. But I haven't done it with gentleness and respect. I've come on strongly, and I may have turned some people off.
And Jesus was found guilty, by association.
The irony is, that just as Jesus is found guilty by his association with me; I have been found not guilty by my association with him. "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." (John 3:17) Jesus died on the cross, found guilty of my sins, so that I can stand here now and say NOT GUILTY...by association. And so can you.
1 Corinthians 15:51 - - It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God! (The Message)
James 2:10 -- For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
John 3:16 - - For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.