“I just don’t understand it,” she said. “I see all these people getting blessed, but not me.”
I listened to the conversation around me, but I didn’t speak. Do you ever do that? Hear someone say something, have the wisdom for the answer they need, but remain silent knowing they won’t receive it just then? This was my plight. It wasn’t that I was judging this lady; I just was a witness to her character.
She spoke of going to church every time the doors opened, and how she didn’t understand as she saw other people receive God’s blessing. Why not her?
I’m certainly not all-knowing like my Heavenly Father. I don’t understand why some things happen and other things do not. I can’t see from beginning to end, and I struggle through life like anyone. I don’t see the heart of man like God does. Instead I see what human eyes see. I see the outward appearance, I see the actions and life lived. That’s what everyone else around me sees.
The woman in question had a cruel demeanor. No judgment; just stating facts. She frequently spoke down to almost everyone she encountered, stranger or not. She used a condescending tone, and many of her comments let you know she was most concerned for herself. She was rigid, set in her ways, not open to change or the opinions and feelings of others. I wondered what made her that way, and it made me sad for her. How unhappy life must be to always walk around unhappy.
I wasn’t sure why God wasn’t blessing her. I could hypothesize, but it really wasn’t my place, nor did it matter. I didn’t focus on who God was or wasn’t blessing beyond myself. But here’s what I could see. I could see what anyone around me could see. You could see a woman who was quick to talk about being a Christian and going to church, but was just as quick to treat people in a hateful manner or add God’s name to angrily uttered curse words. It was wonderful to proclaim Christianity with your mouth, but if your actions didn’t convey the same, it was useless. Even more harm than good, in my opinion.
The greatest form of worship we can give is the light and love of the life we live.
God doesn’t save us because of our works. We don’t have a punch card to get into Heaven. Like, after ten church visits in a row, admission is free. Our ability to be a “good” Christian doesn’t save us. Only faith in Jesus does that. But our actions do imply our character to everyone around us. So if all a person encounters are bitter, angry, mean-spirited Christians then they will assume that most Christians are the same.
They may say, “what’s the point of that?”
How are Christians different?
Shouldn’t we be?
Set apart, for Him?
To set apart means to be chosen for something different. This world is full of anger, resentment, and grievance. The life of a Christian should be filled with love. So full that it overflows, changes you, sets you apart, and draws people in to know what it is exactly inside you that makes you shine so bright. I believe God blesses that. He blesses our ability to love, to show His love, and to draw people to Him.
Valentine’s Day is coming up. When you love someone you give them a token of your affection. You love them in your heart, but you show them in your actions. When you love the Lord the best way you can show your affection is through the life you lead and the way you treat others. Will you still go to Heaven if you’re intolerable to be around? Yeah. If you have received Jesus as your Savior you will. But if you’re wanting God to bless your life here on earth then you have to give it to Him. And that means a heart change. You take on His character, and it shows in the way you treat others.
As Christians, we are instructed to be His light, to become fishers of men, and to spread the word of His salvation to all nations. It’s The Great Commission, and it’s every Christian’s calling. You may not be called to a foreign mission field, but we all are missionaries in our own right.
You’re a missionary in your home. When your children hear the way you speak about the neighbors, people who have less than yourself, people who are different from you, and even your enemies. You’re witnessing to your children. What will they see? Will it be Jesus?
You’re a missionary at work. How do you treat customers? Or the difficult to deal with coworker? Do people notice something different about you, and do they want to know what it is?
How do you hold up under pressure, or when bad things happen in your life? Don’t feel guilty! We’re all a work in progress. Instead, feel convicted to worship God through your life poured out in love, a sacrifice to Him of giving compassion to others.
You’re a missionary on Facebook in a heated comment section, in a long line at the grocery store, and even in the drive-thru at McDonalds.
This whole world is a mission field, a pool of hurting people in need of God’s love. Let them see it in you. Be the Christian witness you are called to be, not just on Sunday morning, but on Monday morning too.