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Saginaw, Michigan, United States
A sinner who may come before God because of Christ

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Good and Faithful

Have you ever been going along just thinking you were doing okay. Maybe living on ‘auto-pilot’, looking at your life and saying, “ Hey, I’m doing alright”. “I’m praying, I’m reading the Bible, I’m serving, God is blessing me, I’m giving a tithe, I’m offering alms, I’m sharing the Gospel, I’m avoiding sin, I’m serving the Church and my neighbors, I’m being righteous, I’m bathing most days, I’m brushing my teeth regularly, I’m losing a little weight”.

Then the Lord strikes you through the heart with a passage. Well, not even a passage, but a verse. Actually not even a verse but a few words in a verse.

That happened to me today in Mark 11:12: “For you are not swayed by appearances but truly teach the way of God.”

My other readings of this always brought me to the conclusion that this was only about how I viewed others. Do I love (or hate or dislike or give kindness or withhold my love) to people based on their actions, circumstances, poor choice, or ethnic heritage or economic situation or even who their mother happened to be? Am I judging others with the same scale that I weigh myself? It seemed this verse was only saying – “Tom, what is your attitude towards others”. Am I seeing others through my distorted vision or through the clarity of God’s eyes?

But today these little words went a little deeper than that for me.

Christ is not ‘asking’ me anything here but making a statement, a command. We are not only ‘not to be swayed’ by where or who or how someone is, we are to ‘truly’ teach the way of God to them.

Which raises an even more critical question: “While I am living as a Christian, is my life teaching about Christ and is it doing that in a way that is true?

Here is the thing about teachers, the effective ones are those who have a great passion for the topic they are instructing. A ‘true’ teacher not only has knowledge and a great technique, but a desire for the student’s betterment. He wants others to not only learn, but to catch his passion and grasp hold of the subject.

We are not only to be good students of Christ, we are to be true teachers of Christ. We are not only to be concerned if “I” am doing good, but is that good coming of anything – does my living good teach the way of God?

It was much easier to assess my life on only how I treat others because then I could pat myself on the back and say “See, God, I am doing well”. And our hope is that he responds “my good and faithful servant”.

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