by: Ellene Meece
St. Francis of Assisi: "Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words."
In our world today, people are lined up on different sides of issues, shouting words and screaming their opinion. But, are those words effective? Especially, in being a voice of God's plan for this earth.
Recently, I read a post that showed a van with these words, "Repent! Or Go To Hell!," written on a large sign. The author noted the message was also blaring from a loud speaker. How do you think those passing by will respond?
I Corinthians 13 reminds us that even if we are eloquent in speech but do not have love, we're a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And even if we are the award winner of "mountain moving faith," but do not have love, we are nothing. Even if we run a soup kitchen and go to jail marching in a rally that defends Christian values and do not have love, we gain nothing!
"Atheist activist Patrick Greene had plans to sue Henderson County, Texas, just a few months ago if the county did not move its nativity scene from the courthouse lawn to a private property. He eventually dropped his threats, however, after discovering he was quickly losing his vision. Not long after his decision was reported, donations began pouring in from Christians who wanted to lend the non-believer a helping hand, with no strings attached."
Patrick learned that he had a detached retina that would eventually cause him to go blind. As a self-employed taxi driver and no health insurance, he was in desperate need of a "helping hand."
That's when a Christian woman from Athens, Texas, read about Patrick's dilemma and decided she wanted to help the man who had tried to sue to have the county's nativity scene removed. She called her pastor asking if he thought they could do something for Patrick Greene, and without hesitation he said yes.
While Patrick Greene's eye vision may have been decreasing, he now says his view of at least some Christians is increasing.
"We don't expect this kind of treatment from most Christians because most Christians don't act this way," said Greene. "But because of the fact that Jesus said 'Love your neighbor as yourself,' these people are acting like real Christians. Both my wife and I love them for that, because they're actually putting their actions where their beliefs are."
Just a reminder today to move away from the world of empty words, screaming debates and angry messages and love somebody . . . really love somebody!
Ellene Meece lives in Meeker, Colorado and works with her husband in their natural resource company while running her own online store, Grandma's Treasures Online. Currently, she oversees the marketing for the FMIN Workplace Leaders Network.
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