Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Keep on Shining

     In the current position I hold in my husband's office, I have the job of filing insurance and sending out billing.  This is not always an easy job to be certain, and this is especially true when people come in to question a bill.  Some come into our office sincerely wanting to understand what they owe and others come in upset that they must pay anything.
     On one such occasion, an elderly lady came into the office to ask about a recent bill she had received.  We had people in our waiting room so I tried to speak quietly with this person.  The more I tried to explain how the item was billed the angrier she became as she did not seem to understand what I was saying.  I pulled out records and other items to show her that the balance was her responsibility; however, I also tried to stay calm so she would not get upset.  After what seemed like a long discussion, the dear old lady said that I could send her to jail before she would pay.  With that pronouncement, she turned and left.  I had tried my best to reason with her, but it seems as though she was resolute in her belief.
A swan is a beautiful bird but it can have a nasty
disposition.  A good lesson for each of us!
     As I sat thinking about this encounter, a gentleman in our waiting area had heard the entire exchange.  He said he thought I had handled things very gently and professionally.  I thanked him for those kind words as I truly needed to hear that.  Likewise, I was happy that I did not lose my temper or my witness for Christ.
     Whether it is on the job or even at a family gathering, the Apostle Paul tells us the importance of being a light that we might glorify the Lord through our speech and conduct.
 Ephesians 5:8 reads:    "for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light."  When we lose our temper, we also lose our  ability to think things through and often say things which would have been better not to have said at all.  As Pastor Mickey Evans of Dunklin Memorial Camp used to say, "It's better to be righteous than right."  Getting upset with people doesn't resolve an issue.
     When we show kindness to others in spite of how they treat us, we are being a light for Christ.  They may be an angry neighbor,  a clumsy waiter, or a store manager with a bad attitude, but we are called to reflect the Lord.    Our speech and witness are to be positive even to those who are being ugly to us.
     I cannot tell you have many times I have seen people that I know profess Christ; yet they take out their frustrations on others leaving a negative impression with that person
.   Our actions matter in this world because they back up what we speak with our mouths.  A profession of faith in Christ is only as strong as the manner in which we relate not only to God but also our fellow man.  We are to be doers of the Word and not hearers only.
     In this new day, we need to ask ourselves some questions to determine if we are shining for Christ:
1) Do I treat others as I long to be treated?   2) Am I impatient with store clerks, other drivers on the road or in doctor's offices?  3) Do I think more highly of myself than I do of others?  These questions help us to see if we are serving as a beacon for Christ or just like the world we were supposed to be different than.  Let us purpose in our hearts to reflect His glory and love others despite how they may treat us.  Selah!                                        

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