So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished! Luke 1:45

Thursday, August 23, 2012

All The Way

A few years ago, I was in a Wal-mart in, I believe it was, North Charleston, SC. I was waiting in the exchange/return line to take care of something but it was a busy day so there were several people in front of me. I think it must have been sometime around the holidays.

A few people in front of me stood a woman who had a man in front of her. Apparently, she grumbled something about him cutting in line in front of her and he decided to take offense to it. What ensued was a shouting match. Like, I thought they were going to come to blows kind of shouting match.

The rest of us in line kind of stood back a ways so we didn't get caught in it and the employees who were working the return desk worked even more feverishly trying to get done with those in front of the man and woman so they could get them out of there.

It did wind down eventually, in part because the man's wife came running up and tried to get him to walk away, but mainly because they both seemed to realize that neither was backing down from their argument. The main reason I remember the incident is because the last thing that happened really stuck with me.

When she realized she wouldn't win the argument or come out on top, the woman decided to deliver her "trump" card. Her parting shot was that God would bless the man. It was said in a superior, angry way -- almost as if to suggest that she was still better than he was because she had God.

It made me ill.

She had just had a hissy fit in front of a huge audience over something ridiculous but she was still the winner because she had God and he apparently didn't. Ugh!

It made me angry to hear her do that. Behavior like that (and I know I could be guilty too) doesn't occur when you're focused on God. And even when it gets started, I would hope that a Christian would, rather than elevating the situation, decide to let it go. I would hope that I would be able to take a breath and say, "I don't think I cut in front of you but if you'd like to go first, please, go ahead." or that I'd be able to assume the person didn't realize they had cut in line and forget about it. Honestly, if either one of them had done one of those things, the situation would have been over in a few seconds.

The reason I was thinking about this was my lesson yesterday during my Bible study time. She was talking about the change that should come about when someone becomes a Christian. She referenced the Ephesians who had spread the good news to the point that it was affecting the economics of the city they lived in. A powerful silversmith rallied the other craftsmen because their idols and temple worship things weren't selling as well anymore.

As she put it, " The impact of Jesus should be as dramatic in our lives as it was in the lives of the Ephesians." and "Our redirected priorities find their best realization in the places where we choose to invest our time and money. We no longer pay for the movie or song that uses profanity or immorality for entertainment. We let Jesus influence the time we spend in front of the television. We build our lives on the truth of His Word, rather than placing our confidence in the latest media report or scientific discovery. Even the things we talk about are shaped by the person of Jesus."

I think that might be where most Christians falter -- me included. It's one thing to believe and even to carve out time for worship or make a contribution. It's another entirely to let Christianity invade even the smallest parts of our lives, like what we watch on tv that evening or whether we pay 20 cents more for the brand that doesn't support things that hurt the heart of God. It's choosing to refuse to tell the latest tale about someone and extending the hand of friendship to someone that is cut out by others. It's pointing out that undercharge at the cashier or pointing out the coupon that isn't supposed to be doubled. It's being honest about paying your taxes and graciously accepting the penalty for driving over the speed limit.

When we've truly been impacted by Christ, it seems like your whole life should be changed. And it seems like that should be easy too. Maybe it would be if we didn't have someone working against that change. I suppose that can be why it is hard -- that and the habit that's been formed by living a different way before.

After reading Casandra Martin's comments in my study though, I do hope that the change of Christ is evident throughout my whole life. It brought to light some places where I falter. Thankfully they aren't as public as the woman in my story above though. I hope I never have that issue.

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