Thursday, November 2, 2017
At the end of the day I sometimes take an inventory of where I “won” and were I “lost” in terms of my witness for Christ. By that, I mean to say: would others have been drawn into wanting to know more about my faith based upon how I handled myself or repelled?
It’s obvious that an atheist can be kind, gentle, compassionate, etc if all things go perfectly for him each day. For me, there’s no real challenge in shining for Jesus if there’s nothing but sunshine all about me! But how I radiate His love and humility when things are “overcast” or dark can make quite an impression on those looking for the truth about God and His love.
Oh how I have failed to be that radiant light in my own home lately! I realize why Paul said that a deacon or elder should be able to manage “his own family well” before being considered for the office! Oddly enough, I am a deacon in my own church, but I was invited to be a deacon (and approved) before the three foster boys came into my home! I am no so sure that I would have been selected if my “management” skills were scrutinized today….
One of the greatest blessings of living with others is that the conflicts and “grinding” of sharing your home with others sheds light on where each of us need to grow and face our own inadequacies. These three boys in my home have shown me just how selfish I am about my private time, my “space”, my routine, my schedule, etc. Just this morning I lost my temper with the two youngest boys interrupted my Bible study and quiet time. After I raised my voice and told them to put an end to their silly games, loud laughter and running about the house, I had a small “epiphany”: Here I am yelling at my two youngest boys and demanding that they shut their mouths and being still…. so that I can pray to God and become more holy! What a hypocrite I am! God sent those boys into my life for a good purpose—-primarily, it appears, to push me to the daily recognition of MY need to abide in Jesus Christ that I might bear the spiritual fruit of PATIENCE. It has taken and seven year old, nine year old, and now a fourteen year old to open my eyes: I need annoyances and interruptions in order to bear spiritual fruit and bring others into fellowship with him.
It is God’s love, bursting through my life to the very things that annoy me (when it would seem most appropriation to blow up and lose my temper) that will bring these boys to experience a relationship with Jesus Christ—not my frustration, temper, anger or disappointment. Nothing, nothing, happens in my life without His hand causing it or His permission to allow it. If I can remember this I stand a better chance of shining for Him and allowing myself to laugh a bit more at how ridiculous I must look when I throw a temper tantrum of not being allowed to read my Bible.