Don’t Be a Jerk! – A Donkey Kong Lesson

Don't be a jerk

On July 9th of 1981, a giant ape by the name of Donkey Kong captured a young damsel named Pauline. If that wasn’t bad enough, he proceeded to throw barrels at Jumpman (aka Mario) for trying to save the poor damsel in distress.

Jerk move, Donkey Kong. JERK MOVE.

But wait a second! It’s easier to point fingers when you’re on the opposite side of the arcade cabinet. Is it possible, perhaps, that you and I are also jerks? Here are a few questions to contemplate, some scripture verses to ponder, and (hopefully) some inspiration (for all of us) to start loving more sincerely.

“Am I a Jerk?”

For better context, read Titus Chapter 1 and 2 first. You can click right here to access the ESV of these chapters!

Titus 3:1-2 (ESV)

1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.

When you’re reading this chapter, it could be really easy to barrel (get it?) past these verses, and think to yourself, “Sweet! I’m a nice person. Time to move on!”

But wait! Screetch your Sonic the Hedgehog shoes to a halt for a second.

  • Are you rebellious towards authority in the workplace, or elsewhere?
  • Are you obedient?
  • Do you strive to help people in need, or do other good works?
  • Do you talk about people behind their backs? What about when everyone else starts talking about someone?
  • Do you avoid arguments and quarreling?
  • Are you gentle?
  • Are you courteous?

If you’re anything like me, there’s a few things on that list that could be worked on. Even if people were to consider me “nice” compared to other guys, I still need to be humble enough to examine my heart. I need to strive to meet the standard that is set in the Bible, not the standard that is made by man.

You may be wondering:

Why should we be courteous to people who are living a lifestyle that is harmful / are doing something wrong?

Titus 3:3-7 (ESV)

3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Guess what. If you’re a Christian, chances are you’re not too different than Donkey Kong. Why? Because DK turned things around. Much like us, despite having a rough past, DK was changed.

Game developers transformed DK into a hero instead of a villain.

God can transform someone with a rough past, into a faithful member of His family.

Can Christians Still Be Jerks?

We live in a difficult world. We have a sin nature, and without God’s free grace and forgiveness, all of us are guilty. We are not justified by good works, however, this is no excuse not to be living a life of love. When God is at your roots, good fruit should come naturally. If good fruit doesn’t come to us naturally, then perhaps it is time to examine our roots!

If we profess to be a Christian, we have a HUGE responsibility to exhibit love through our actions. If we claim to have God, but go on living without love, we can confuse (and push away) people who may not yet have a relationship with God.

Unfortunately, very frequently I hear people tell me why they have hesitations about being a Christian. Regularly these hesitations stem from the observation of people (who claim to be Christians) treating others poorly.

Perhaps it was:

  • A gossip in the Church.
  • A pastor who turned away someone with tattoos.
  • A friend who talks about Church, but also treats his girlfriend poorly.
  • Two Christians that never talk about God’s love, but frequently argue about other denominational issues.
  • A Christian who looks to stir up trouble in Facebook comments.
  • A Christian who judges others, but fails to address their own issues.
  • Someone arrogant.
  • Someone who doesn’t listen.
  • Someone who judges people, but doesn’t care about them.
  • Someone who ignores people in need.
  • Someone who sleeps around.
  • Someone who makes jokes about other people.
  • Someone who insults people behind their back.
  • Someone who is always negative.

I could go on and on. When I list these things, I am not claiming to be guilt free. I’ve had many downfalls, and made many mistakes. Because God sent His Son (and I choose to truly follow Him) my sins are covered. That doesn’t give me an excuse to keep living sinfully. Quite the opposite.

The point I’m trying to make in one sentence is this: If you say you’re a Christian, you have a responsibility to try really hard not to be a jerk.

Apologize when you make mistakes. Show love to everyone. Share the gospel in a way that shows your care (and God’s care) for those that are lost. Be humble. Be nice.

Titus 3:8-15 (ESV)

8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. 9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. 12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. 14 And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful. 15 All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.

A quick note before I wrap this article up. It isn’t rude to tell people about the dangers of living without the free forgiveness that God offers us. It isn’t mean to tell people that Jesus is the only way to God. In fact, it would be hateful not to stand up for what you truly believe. At the same time, be sure to do these things with a loving and generous heart.

I love you guys, and I’m praying for you!

-Caleb

  • Did you enjoy this article about Donkey Kong? Check out this one about Helping Others! Make a significant difference! Seek first His kingdom!

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Am I a Jerk

 

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Below is the Photo Source for “Am I a Jerk?” These artist(s) do not necessarily share my viewpoints, but have kindly released their work under a creative commons licence. Follow the links below to find the original artists and copyright license:

Donkey Kong / King of Kong – Rob Boudon

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