When my son, Jeremiah, was a newborn I would often hold him when he was crying. At times it seemed as if the only times I held him were times when he was strung out. It seemed as if I rarely had a chance to hold him when he was happy. Now that was not completely true, but it sure did seem like that at times.
I wonder if sometimes our heavenly Father feels that way about us. We go to Him when we have nowhere else to go. We readily approach Him when our hearts are broken or when we are stressed out. We let Him hold us only when we are strung out. God certainly wants to take our cares and our worries. He is, after all, called the God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1:3). When we are in great need, we should let God wrap us in His arms. However, that should not be the only time when we let Him hold us.
Friends, our God wants to be involved in our lives all the time. He wants us to remember Him in the good times as well as the bad. He wants us to embrace Him and to be embraced by Him, not only in our sorrow but also in our joy. The apostle Paul would, on many occasions, break out into praise in the middle of a letter (Rom. 9:5; 11:36; Gal. 1:5; Eph. 3:20,21; 1 Tim. 1:16,17; 2 Tim. 4:18). When times are bad, quickly go to God for help and comfort. But don’t shut Him out of your life when times are good. Let God hold you today!
Perhaps you’ve heard of the “pastor” who attempted to get out of an eighteen percent gratuity at a local restaurant. While I would like to think that this is an isolated event, it is no secret that the worst day for waiters/waitresses to work is Sunday. On this day the tips are the lowest and the customers’ attitudes are generally the poorest of any clientele. This exemplifies a problem for those who consider themselves Christians; many people think we are rude, and worse yet hypocrites. And here’s the dirty secret, many times we are!
Speaking to His disciples, Jesus said, “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). Considering that command, I’m compelled to ask myself several questions: What kind of impression do I leave on people? Would they want to serve the God I claim to serve? Am I bringing glory to God through my life? Can others see Christ living in me?
I don’t always make the right choices, nor does my attitude always adequately reflect the perfect brilliance of Christ, but I do try. So here are a few thoughts or “tips” to consider as you go about your daily interactions with others.
- Those who serve are worthy of kindness, respect, and honor; after all Jesus came not to be served but to serve (Matt. 20:28).
- Who knows what a little kindness may do for someone, you may help lead a soul to Christ.
- Remember the “Golden Rule.”
- We will be judged by our actions and our words (note especially Matthew 25:31ff.).
- Kindness breeds kindness. If you are polite and respectful to others, they are much more likely to return in kind. If you want to have a pleasant day, be a pleasant person!
We are imperfect people, and we all have bad days, but let us all cultivate a kind and loving attitude toward all people. You never know what an impact that may have on someone.