Thursday, January 14, 2010

Janus Or Jesus...Who's Face Are You Wearing?


(Image Source)

In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings and endings. Most commonly, Janus is remembered by association with the month of January. Tradition dedicated the first of the month by the Romans to their very old Italian god...Janus.
Concerning his appearance, most notably Janus is depicted with two faces. The story has it that one face looked upon that which is behind and the other looks upon what lies ahead. In other words, he is looking at both past and future. Because of his "two faced" portrayal, Janus has also been used by some as a symbol of hypocrisy.

Have you ever looked up the definition of the word(s) "two-faced?" I mean we all know what it means, but sometimes we need to see things in writing. So according to thefreedictionary.com, here is how it is defined...

  • deceitful; insincere; hypocritical
  • marked by deliberate deceptiveness especially by pretending one set of feelings and acting under the influence of another; "she was a deceitful scheming little thing"- Israel Zangwill; "a double-dealing double agent"; "a double-faced infernal traitor and schemer"- W.M.Thackeray
  • double-dealing, double-tongued, duplicitous, Janus-faced, double-faced, ambidextrous, deceitful, dishonest, dishonorable - deceptive or fraudulent; disposed to cheat or defraud or deceive
  • having two faces--one looking to the future and one to the past; "Janus the two-faced god": Janus-faced
  • faced -having a face or facing especially of a specified kind or number; often used in combination; "a neatly faced terrace"
Quite a list of words to describe it, huh!?! Look closely and you'll see 2 separate references to Janus in these definitions.

T
here are a myriad of ways that prove one to be two faced. For instance,let's look back to your school days. Do you recall anyone who might have befriended another person but when they are around "their" friends (maybe they were part of the popular crowd) they shunned the other person? Friends one minute and the next minute they couldn't be seen fraternizing with "that" person or what have you. How about on the job scene...two good friends work in the same office, a promotion is offered...one of the friends is willing to let merit and hard work prove the best candidate for the position, while the other stabs their friend in the back just to move up the corporate ladder. You can even have a two-faced marriage. One spouse is completely loyal, faithful, respectful and honest in the relationship..while the other is out down talking their spouse to fellow co-workers & friends, or worse yet...one of the spouses is having an affair. The cheating spouse claims love and fidelity to his or her spouse but turns another face and goes and does the opposite.

Regardless of what side of the situation you have been on (being two faced or the other) we all know how much that can hurt another person and damage, if not ruin completely, a relationship. It shouldn't be expected in any situation, but when you see if happen in the secular world it is one of those things that you just kind of expect at times. The heart sickening thing is when you see it happen with Christians.

In the midst of his persecution and sufferings, Paul writes in Ephesians 4:1-6 "
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." We've all seen it (and maybe if your honest..will admit you might have done it yourself)...Sister or Brother so-and-so is the sweetest person to your face but later you find out that this person who acted like your friend has been running their mouth behind your back with things that are falsified or twisted beyond recognition. You confront them in a loving manner about it but they take no responsibility for their own actions. They treat you like you are the wrong doer here.

It never ceases to amaze me at how superficial and self centered people can be. Don't get me wrong, there are genuine Christians in every Church, but there are also those that are self seekers, for lack of better words to describe it. How is it that we put on our Sunday best, go to Church, say we are saved & filled with the Spirit but yet we don't love everyone that GOD has made? Why is it when altar time comes before us...knowing very well that we need to be sitting at the foot of the cross, instead some choose to sit back and judge everyone else that goes forth?

How is it we can have love for Jesus, whom you have never seen, but your brothers & sister in Christ whom you can see...you can't stand? We fool ourselves into thinking we can get a prayer up to heaven but we hinder ourselves through our own actions.

When are we going to start being doers of the Word and not just hearers only? What would others see if they followed you home...would they still see you as sweet as you are when you are putting on your Church face or would you be the nasty person you truly are when you're in the privacy of your home.

Time is drawing near for the LORD to take home HIS saints. JESUS said in Matthew 6:33, "
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;..." So I ask you ... when you come to the House of GOD, what are you truly seeking? If your using HIS house for any purpose other than to draw closer to the LORD, then you need to re-evaluate things in your heart & in your actions. Go back to the definition of two-faced....don't let yourself fall under the words that describe it. Repent and turn from your wicked ways. GOD wants to use use but you have to let HIM repair your broken vessel. The questions is...are you willing to let go and let GOD?

2 comments:

Domestic Goddess said...

What a great reminder. I know I have been on both ends of this. One Sunday I was "followed home" I take the four kids to church with me by myself. I spent the hour trying to keep the youngest from crawling under the pew and the two older boys from starting a fist fight in the middle of the sermon. I was firm but gentle and oh so loving while all the church members were there to see. Then we came home and I had had enough. I was yelling at them to "shut up and sit down or no one was going to get lunch" As soon as I finished my tirade there was a knock on the door. A family from church stopped by to visit. The windows were all open and I know they heard every word. They were very kind and said that they saw I had a rough time that day at church. I was mortified because my awful behavior had been caught. Why should it bother me that they heard me but not bother me that God sees everything?

Keeper of our Home said...

Domestic ~
I have been in that place before...boy is it not a good feeling to get caught with your christianity down is it?? That is something I think we all have times to work on. But you know what...it's ok. As long as we do remember that the one who does count most is the LORD.

Blessings
~Mrs. M