I just received a disturbing e-mail from a long time friend. I prayed about it and I felt God leading me to share this with you.
We are all struggling with problems and some of us are wrestle with how we can change America for the better. But I wonder if you realize that everything you do in your daily life either points to the Heavenly Father or it tears down our faith. Every interaction with any other human carries with it the potential for good or the potential for destruction.
My friend owns a cake decorating business. Now unless she's baking a cross cake for Easter, there's not a lot of ministry in her work. She does donate her unsold cupcakes and cookies to the local food bank and she does volunteer work for a homeless shelter.
My friend is a wonderful mother and Christian and...one of the sweetest people I know. You know the kind. She would turn a deep shade of red if anyone raised their voice or was critical of her work.
In her last e-mail she explained that her Sunday school teacher needed work. Her husband had lost his job and they couldn't pay their bills. Being the sweetie that she was, My friend gave her a job. Unfortunately, her Sunday school teacher came in late, didn't keep her area clean and was short with one of her best customers. When she was approached about changing her attitude and work - she lashed out in a vengeful and hateful way. She even tried to get other workers to take her side and stand against my friend.
My friends e-mail was heavy with sorrow. She wondered if she should be understanding. She wondered if she was wrong to approach this worker - even though they had been sited by the health department and found it was directly responsible to this employee. She wondered if as a Christian she had the right to take up for her business. She wondered if she had been a proper Ambassador for Christ.
After we discussed the issue back and forth in several e-mails, it was evident that My friend was trying to "protect the faith" by questioning her own actions. Yet, she was hurt by this other Christian Sunday School teacher who didn't realize that she was NOT being a good Ambassador for Christ. Her actions were divisive and full of revenge. Her actions proved to those in the shop that some Christians do not practice or understand the full gospel. And...her actions proved that she did not understand that our faith must go deeper - it must continue into every area of our lives or it will prevent others from salvation rather than promote Christ. Unfortunately, one of the employees that was a baby Christian was deeply hurt by the actions of this Sunday School Teacher.
The worst thing that's happened to America isn't the rise of Liberals - the worst thing is that Christians have forgotten that they must "be Christ" in every situation. Just as he bowed to Caesar, his Rabbai, his mother and a host of others who had leadership over him - at times - we too must understand those who have leadership over us. We also need to realize that others are watching. How many times have we heard liberals poke fun at someone's faith because they tried to sound perfect yet they were hiding sins. Hippocrites never help our faith. How many times have you lost your influence over someone because you chose to act in an unChristian manner? Christians are not destructive - Satan is.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that we should all take a look at our own lives and be sure that we are compassionate and kind. That we wait for the facts before we jump on the bandwagon of critisism. That we strive to be honorable and able to work with and under another person's leadership.
But....and this is not contradictory....we must also take our own leadership seriously. Are we watching out for the work God has called us to do. Are we carefully and prayerfully accepting that as a leader we must make hard decisions that others might not understand? If we don't do that....our work for God can suffer. Too many churches have gone under because a Pastor wasn't willing to stand strong against attacks and instead gave in to demanding people who pushed and shoved the body of Christ into a dark place.
It's a fine balanced line to be in the perfect will of God. We are called to be wise and to be strong. We are called to lead and to follow. We are called to be ambassadors and to be soldiers of the cross. And we are called to be and do all of that just as "Jesus" would do.
Tonight I hope you will all join me in prayer asking for grace to help each of us react to difficult situations with the heart and the mind of Christ. May we continually show others that the only way to a Godly nation and a healed land is through the love and strength of Jesus Christ.
Live in such a manner that when others speak badly of you - no one will believe it!
God loves you,