Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Mid-Week Message - Reflecting Our Lord

"Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude."  1 Peter 3:8 (NLT)

It was a horrible dream.  In it, I was standing beside a broken down car on a dirt road.  I was waiting and hoping for someone to come by to help.  From a distance I saw a young man in overalls walking toward me.  Over his shoulder he carried a pole with a heavy bucket hanging from the end.  As he approached I was feeling more hopeful of having my car issue resolved and being able to continue my journey.  He was smiling as he neared however the smile disappeared when he drew closer and he swung the pole suddenly and hit me in the face with the heavy bucket. 

I have had the opportunity to work in several Christian organizations.  One of the things that I have noticed there (and in churches) is that Christians can be very unkind to each other.  Now, I realize we are all human beings with faults.  None of us are perfect and those imperfections will creep into our professional and personal relationships occasionally.  What I am referring to though is a general attitude of altitude.  You know what that is.  Because one position is technically higher than another, those in the higher positions begin to see themselves as more important.  They view their "calling" as more valuable than those with lesser titles and forget that a functioning body needs gifts of all kinds in order to be cohesive.  

1 Corinthians reminds us that a body has many parts.  The hand is not more important than the foot nor the eye more important than the ear.  Each of us has skills, abilities and talents given to us by our Creator that are unique to us.  When we all come together and combine those gifts we are able to accomplish great things. How then do the divisions occur?  Simply, we get caught up in ourselves.  We begin to align ourselves with others that have the same function and in so doing shut out all others.  To them this feels like they are being looked down upon, or counted as less valuable.  

No matter where we find ourselves in life, we as believers are to be loving and compassionate.  Jesus said that loving God and loving others were the two greatest commandments.  When we fail to do that we cease being ambassadors of Christ and appear the same as unbelievers.  Everyone we come in contact with should be able to see the reflection of our Lord in our words and deeds.  It needs to remain uppermost in our minds in each and every activity we engage in.  At work, at play, with family or with strangers.  Because if someone knows we are a Christian and we fail to treat them kindly, then it can be like being hit in the face by a heavy bucket.  Those wounds leave scars that may never heal.  

As we go about our week, let's watch our actions and reactions toward others.  Kindness and compassion, in the world or in our Christian circles, leave behind a sweet aroma and touch hearts in ways that we may never know.  God bless you. 

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