Working the day shift, I don't see much daytime TV. For years, at lunch time, I'd go home to catch the soap opera I watched since grade school. When the network killed "All My Children," my lunch TV dates ended.
So I missed all the kerfuffule over "The View" comedienne Joy Behar's comment about Vice President Mike Pence: "It's one thing to talk to Jesus. It's another thing when Jesus talks to you. That's called mental illness if I'm not correct. That's hearing voices."
I took some time to listen to a video clip of the entire segment from last week's show where it happened. Later in the segment, Behar said she doesn't believe Mike Pence has a mental illness.
She made a bad joke.
I didn't care for much of the conversation I heard on that show, but it has no impact on me. In fact, it dovetailed with a verse I was studying. James 3:13 "Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness and wisdom."
I am not offended if someone thinks I'm crazy for having conversations with Jesus. It only means, to me, that they haven't experienced, and don't yet understand the ways God speaks to us every day.
Three times in the past couple of weeks, I've been prompted to say something that was out of my wheelhouse, to people I don't really know well at all. Each time it was a word of encouragement for people. I didn't say "God told me to tell you this," but I knew God placed it on my heart to speak it, in an encouraging manner. And what's more, they didn't scoff at what I said. I knew that they, deep down, knew it too.
Not only does God talk to us, He offers the gifts and the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives, to accomplish His purpose.
I believe His purpose is His purpose -- not for people to assign their wills to and say it's from Him -- or for people to joke about as a mental illness. But I also have to think that if Jesus can implore His Father (Luke 23:34) "forgive them, for they know not what they do," we can pray for open ears so others can experience what God has to say, rather than be offended when they scoff at the notion.
If someone tells me that God told them something and it matches the discernment offered in His Word and in what He gives me, I accept it.
If it doesn't match up, God will make it clear to one of us.
That ain't crazy. That's a bag of powerful tools for living in faith in a crazy world.