Monday, August 15, 2016
Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. 1 Timothy 4:12b(NLT)
Young Timothy was a pastor, and Paul was his mentor in the faith and ministry. Mentoring always requires modeling and reminding. In this profound sentence the great apostle was reminding his protégé to make certain his life was speaking a positive example of Christlikeness to everyone.
You don’t have to be a minister to take that advice seriously. It has been said (perhaps not often enough) that you might be the only Bible a non-believer ever reads.
I was reminded of all this in my car. See the fuzzy dice? If your memory dates back to the 1950’s you know why they’re hanging from my rear view mirror; back in the day that’s what every self-respecting teenager had dangling over the dashboard!
Our daughter, Jen understands this. Her memory isn’t that old, but she’s heard about it. When we got our first new car in 25 years a few years ago, Jen got the fuzzy dice for us as a joke. I thought it was hilarious enough to hang them…and they haven’t moved since. (Sounds like a Methodist choosing a pew…and never moving since).
Fast-forward 3½ years to the parking lot at Harris Teeter. As we swung into a parking space, I was thrilled we found a convenient spot so close to the store, until I saw the sign that said Reserved for Mothers with Young Children. Now, my bride looks younger than her years, but even she couldn’t pull that one off; I found another spot!
As I exited my car my eyes fell once-again on the fuzzy dice. In that instant when you notice something very familiar as if for the first time…and you see it differently, the Spirit seemed to speak to my heart. He said…the dice, Russell…really?
I said…but it’s funny.
He said…if you think so.
Well, you get the idea; I was convicted that, in an age when people younger than 50 might not get the joke, I was perhaps letting the wrong message be the first thing people see when I arrive in my VW. It’s called guilt by association, and I’ve seen those same dice advertising a casino. And no matter how many sermons I preach about the evils of gambling, lottery, and other forms of exploitive oppression of the poor who are trapped in poverty or temptation to grasp for illusive riches, the sermon I really preach is the one I settle for in everyday life.
And what do I want to hear my life speak?
So…the fuzzy dice have got to go.
The down-side to this is that my car will now seem empty and bare, and my bride will not be able to find the little gray VW in a crowded parking lot, because it will look like all the other little gray cars in the parking lot without fuzzy dice.
Hey…maybe I’ll get a fox tail for the antenna!
Paul’s message to you and me is that God wants us all to be ready to listen to the Spirit’s call about what our Life-Speak says!
Can you hear Him now?
You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road today…have a blessed day!
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