Take the lead
We’re focusing on our calling. Two pieces back the simple instruction was: Go! Go! And the previous one warned us not to use the convenience of one of the excuses in our arsenal to hide from our calling.
Now Paul has another good suggestion: 12And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanour, by love, by faith, by integrity.
He should turn around the apparent disadvantage or possible handicap because of his young age and utilise it to live his calling.
One of my shortcomings is that I don’t remember so well. It was really bad for me when I realised that I can’t remember much of what I had just read in God’s Word a minute or two ago. So I started to write down what I wrote. Now God is using this “shortcoming” to bring his Word in ordinary words to other people. Soli Deo Gloria.
Do you see that God can hit straight shots with crooked sticks? Do you realise that God also wants to use you just as you are? You are the go-to person for God – right where you are now. And that is where He wants to make a difference by using you. God longs to make an impact in those people you come into contact with. He wants to use an instrument like you! You are the crooked stick with which God wants to hit a straight shot.
What more do I have to write so that you will hear the message and take it to heart? Come on, man, accept the challenge.
It’s not difficult.
And you know what? You don’t need a degree in theology or to have passed a few Bible courses. Even less you need specialist terminology in your head or mouth like you would for a debating competition. No, you simply have to start getting your words and actions in line with Jesus’ words and actions.
Words: It’s easy to talk right when everything is going right, but as soon as your blood starts boiling … what slips out of our mouths then? What do we say when we get a fright? Do we join in when others gossip?
Actions: I suspect our actions are always out of line, because the own self gets in the way. We do everything for our own sakes and away with the rest. And that is not how Jesus acted.
We all need to work. We must consciously watch what comes out of our mouths. When things don’t go according to our plan, we must concentrate and make extra sure that the wrong words don’t slip out. We must make sure that we don’t talk along with other people’s negative talk. We must make sure that we indeed talk positive and that our words bring peace. (Read this last sentence again, it’s quite important.)
Now for the next challenge: Show the people around you what the actions of a child of God look like. Our actions are different from those of the world. We continuously look for places to do good. We don’t ask what we’ll get out of the deal. On the contrary, we ask where we can give of ourselves. Where I, like Jesus, can give my life for sinners (like me).
Despite ourselves and our shortcomings we have to take the lead.
Eish, it’s not easy, because we’re always pulling in the opposite direction. We’ll have to work with God’s Spirit, because we are not able to live this simple command on our own …
Where is God calling you?
What must your words look like?
What must your actions look like?
Jesus, in a way I understand that You called me to speak your words and carry out your actions wherever I go. However, from experience I know that it doesn’t come naturally to me. I really need your Spirit to help me. Amen.