The other day, my 6 year old son found an old Talking GI Joe doll in the closet that was mine when I was his age. Talking GI Joe had life-like hair and a beard. In the technology Stone Age of the late 60s, this was an awesome toy for a young boy. GI Joe had a draw string on his back and when you pulled it, there were four different phrases he would say. With age and normal wear-and-tear, GI Joe began to say one phrase over and over. No matter how many times I pulled it, he just kept saying the same thing:
"I have a tough assignment for you!"
What does that have to do with religion? Well, it reminded me of Father Corapi's Immortal Combat series (about our spiritual battle against Satan) and the tough assignment we Christians have on a day-to-day basis. Especially, when I read this command from God in Leviticus 11:44:
- 1 Peter 1:13-16: Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
This reminded of another phrase Talking GI Joe used to say: "This is going to be rough. Can you handle it?"
- Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Yes, being Holy and like God is a real challenge. Judging from a poll I found on the Internet, many Christians aren't even sure what it means to be Holy.
So what does being Holy mean?
HOLY: Spiritually whole or sound, of unimpaired innocence and virtue, separate from sin, set apart for God, pure in heart, pious, saintly, acceptable to God, dedicated or devoted to the service of God
How does one become more Holy?
Ask this question and you'll get a variety of answers. I wrote a previous blog in June "How to do I become a Better Christian" that can help but remember the importance of being humble. As Father Corapi says, "No Humility, No Holiness. No Holiness, No Heaven."
- Matthew 23:12: For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
- Hebrews 12:14: Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
Talking GI Joe's third phrase: "We must get there before dark. Follow me!"
Yes, as Christians, we should reach out to those in the world before darkness sets in and be like stars that illuminate the night sky. We accepted this challenge when we chose to follow Christ.
- Job 30:26: Yet when I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, then came darkness.
- Matthew 4:19:"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."
Finally, the fourth phrase Talking GI Joe used to say was: "Mission accomplished. Good work, men!"
This comment reminds me of the scripture below if we fight the good fight in this spiritual battle on earth until the end:
His master replied,
'Well done, good and faithful servant!
You have been faithful with a few things;
I will put you in charge of many things.
Come and share your master's happiness!'
Talking GI Joe, Spiritual Action Figure. Weapons (Bible, Crucifix, Rosary, Holy Water bottle) sold separately.
And if you can't tell, yes, I played Army men with my son. That helps too.
- Matthew 18:3-4: And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
© Michael J. Cox