Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. Colossians 4:5-6(NLT)
Everybody who has gone to church for two minutes understands there is an expectation that Christian people are to be kind and gracious, and not say certain words, or do certain things. How do you get that idea? It is the attitude of gracious church folk, so attractive in their unselfish ways, and kindness towards everybody.
And anyone who has ever been to church for four minutes understands we can be less than that too; we can be downright grumpy at times.
But Paul commands each of us who are part of the Body of Christ to be wise – which translates being gracious and attractive in all our speaking and doing – so that those who aren’t believers will feel comfortable in our presence, and be drawn to Christ. In short, Paul tells us to leave our grumpiness behind and be like Jesus. After all, you attract more friends with smiles than when you look like you’ve just bitten into a lemon!
Some people never get that. Over a lifetime you see it all, the good, bad, and exceedingly ugly! I have heard quite a few people excuse themselves for their surly natured gruffness by claiming, oh, that’s just the way I am.
I have been at church and had Christian people, members of the church, brush by me as if I was a coat rack, without so much as a nod of acknowledgement that I exist. Really gracious; really attractive!
To be perfectly honest, I can be grumpy too…no, really! But, God expects me to get over that, and myself, and be gracious. After all, that’s how He is; it is the very definition of good and loving to be grace-filled, extending kindness in an attractive way.
How do I know that? Jesus demonstrated it on the cross.
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8(NLT)
If you read that through Paul’s lens, against the backdrop of living wisely among those who don’t believe, you see that God knew we were obnoxious, self-centered, sinful, separating ourselves from Him…and he came to us…to love us in spite of our ways.
You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road today…have a blessed day!
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[i] Title Image: By Alias 0591 from the Netherlands (Stay away !), via Wikimedia Commonsk