Skip to main content

Preach without words

Did you brush your teeth?

Because I am your mother, that's why.

Were you born in a barn? Shut the door! 

Always wear clean underwear in case you get in an accident.

Im going to change my name from Mom.

Use good judgment.

You are who you hang out with.

Yep. Right there, that last one. There are other versions, too. For instance - "a man is known by the company he keeps" or Booker T Washington's "Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company." And, last but not least, the possibility of falling into the trap of being "guilty by association."

In case you didn't know, I am going to share a little secret with you: Moms are always right and all of their sayings are going to come back to haunt you one day. You may have brushed it off when you were a kid, but I am sure at least once in life so far you have had to suddenly stop to catch your breath as you picture your mom's face and say, "holy cow, she was right!" And if this hasn't happened to you yet, it will...just wait.

Let's take a minute to talk about those folks you associate with. Have you taken your mom's advice about who you spend time with? We change and grow as we navigate through life. So what happens if you wake up one day and find out that who you associate with doesn't really fit your mold anymore? Do you just walk away? And if you cant walk away for one reason or another... Do you just allow yourself to continue to associate with those your mother warned you about? 

At some point you may find yourself in this sticky situation. We cannot always just walk away from associations... life is just not that easy. For instance, if you do not agree with your co-workers or the mother of your child's best friend, you cannot just forget they exist! Maybe you sit on a board and have to associate with a group of people each week that you may find "different." You cannot just walk away. So the question becomes - how do you handle these situations? How do you hold steadfast to your Christian beliefs and positive nature when surround by those who try to sway you or bring you down? 

1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV) says, "Do not be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character.'" And if your eyes are not opened, this can happen. (I think that is what your mom was always getting at.) But we don't always have to be misled by "bad company." We could place a spin on this...  

Instead of choosing to separate our associates/friends as "good and bad" and "us and them," what if we choose to let God use us in this situation? Instead of distancing ourselves for fear that we will become "guilty by association," what if we share God's love? 

Because I have personally struggled with this and have asked God for his guidance, my eyes have been opened when reading lately. I have found that I just absolutely love Hebrews 12:1 (NLT): 

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us."

In my head, I am picturing myself running with all that energy I have, jumping over hurdles, barreling toward the finish line, not letting ANYTHING get in my way. (ok, maybe this is because I have been watching the Olympics a lot lately). But, really - it reminds me that even if I am surrounded by people that I disagree with, I am also surrounded by many winners. I am following in the footsteps of Jesus - the greatest winner! I am holding on to joy and looking for victory. I will not be held back by those who choose a different path! 

I will not fall victim to the sins of this world due to the company I keep. Instead, I will be a carrier of light to lead them from darkness.

You may not always be in a position to get all "preachy" with your friends/associates, but the manner in which you lead your life is an example. You can preach without using a single word. 


Popular posts from this blog

Quench your thirst

In my mind, I keep coming back to this location, location, location thing.
I always used to get irritated when people would come to Florida to visit and harp on me about not having a killer tan -- as if I had all the time in the world to sit at the beach! But those who visit -- that is what they do -- visit the beach! They come into town, get a tan, and head on home to show it off.
When you live here, it is a different story. You have your daily routine that includes work, appointments, shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc. A trip to the beach has to be weaseled in. And, even then, it seems like something needs to get put on the back burner.
When you manage to squeeze it in and arrive at the beach, you can start to relax once you are able to let everything go that could've/should've/would've been done had you not decided to head east. The smell of the salty air, the crashing of the waves, the sand between your toes, and the smiles on everyone's faces... why don't we do th…

If today is your last...

Have you ever really thought about the fact that we may not be here next week? Tomorrow? By 9:00 pm tonight? We don't know when we are going to get called home -- we just know that we will one day. It is inevitable. 
And then there are those who sorta get a heads up... say you fall ill and your doctor tells you that you only have a small window of human life left in you. Or, maybe you hear a small voice or get a feeling that your time to head home is coming... 
Think about it: You hear the words, "Good morning, <insert your name>, today is your last day to live on earth." What would you do? How would you react? 
Something tells me some folks may begin rushing around in a panic trying to quickly pack everything into 24-hours that they didn't take the time to do before now. All those things on the bucket list -- the sky diving, the traveling, seeing your favorite football team play live, trying to finish the kitchen sink ice cream challenge, singing a solo at church…

This could be you

Lets talk hypothetical situations for a minute, shall we? You are walking down the street. You see a man sitting on the ground, his back against a building. Upon first glance, you notice his disheveled appearance, worn clothing, and the grungy backpack sitting close to him. What is your first thought? When you see his face, what or who do you see?
This is where I am learning people differ. And I apologize in advance for my bit of a rant... 
Recently, I was reading the book of Job. If you are not familiar with his story, Job was a good, faithful man who had done well in life. In my version of the bible (NLT), he is referred to as "blameless." Satan approached God and wanted to test Job's faith. God told him that he could test him in any manner he wanted, but to spare his life. During this process, Job lost all his children, his sheep, camels, oxen, donkeys, servants, etc. His body was covered in boils from head to toe. His spirits were down, but his faith never faltered.