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Playing the Fiddle

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Playing the Fiddle

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There is something sinister and evil in the concept of standing aside and letting horrible things take place while doing little or nothing to change the situation.

There is a spiritual "fiddle" that Satan wants us to play. It is the attitude of looking the other way while people are suffering around us. It is the act of distraction in the midst of ugly events. It is nonparticipation in the events of this world.

When I was a boy, we lived in a coal-mining town, and a man lived there whose name was Adolf. Adolf was a big man and always seemed to be unkempt and covered in coal dust. He was a miner and lived alone—but this unlikely man played the violin. Not only did he play the violin, but the sound that came from his violin could evoke a whole gamut of emotions.

He could make it sound as though the violin were weeping. He could make it sound joyful and exciting, and he could make it sound sad and somber. He provided a caliber of music that was unknown in the Coal Branch. It was obvious that Adolf had put many years of study into his music.

When his large, strong hands picked up that instrument, he became a different person to all who were listening. His music was a surprising dimension to the man. This kind of fiddling brought something positive into our lives and homes. It spoke of a higher value of things that we could strive for. It instilled the love of music in many.

How about us? How do we play the fiddle in our lives? Are we prone to ignore our responsibilities as Christians? Or do we realize how much other people depend on our response to things in our lives and especially the things that impact others?

God teaches us that we are to be a light to those around us (Matthew 5:15). We cannot remain aloof from the trials and problems of this world. Peter wrote that we have a responsibility to God, each other and to the world. He wrote that we are to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:15).

It is true that our citizenship is written in God's book (Ephesians 2:19), but we are also instructed to follow the example of Jesus Christ who did not separate Himself from the people around Him. Jesus gave His life for others and set a pattern for people to live by. He never stood by, ignoring the suffering. When He came to Jerusalem and saw the city—knowing its future—He wept (Luke 19:41).

Followers of Jesus Christ can never play the fiddle of indifference that Nero played. Instead, they are to play fiddles that make beautiful music for the betterment of mankind. God's children are expected to give something positive to this world.

Adolf did not take very good care of his personal appearance or health, but when he opened his violin case, it was obvious the instrument was given a great deal of care. He did not feel burdened by the need to practice and hone his skills. He rejoiced in the happiness he would bring to others as a result of his work. Play your fiddle in such a way that it brings joy to people. UN