Ed Delph shares another thought-provoker…
The phone rang. The lady of the house answered. It was a salesman from a mortgage refinance company. ‘Do you have a second mortgage on your home?,’ he enquired.
‘No,’ she replied. The salesman then asked, ‘Would you like to consolidate all of your debts?’ to which she said, ‘I really don’t have any.’
Undeterred he suggested, ‘How about freeing up some cash for home improvements?’
She parried, ‘I don’t need any. I just recently had some done and paid cash.’
There was a brief silence and then he asked, ‘Are you looking for a husband?’
The lady sent a message loud and clear. It was obvious, at least to the salesman, that this lady has values that in many ways define her. Her words were backed up by her actions. As someone once said, talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand.
What kind of message are we sending?
The Bible enlightens us where the word Christian came from in Acts 11:26. ‘And it came about that for an entire year they met with the church, and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.’
The city named the disciples and church. They community named them ‘Christians.’ Why? Because of the message they were sending.
The church and disciples walked like Christ, talked like Christ, had integrity like Christ, ministered like Christ, were servant leaders like Christ; in short they just lived Christ. The city named them Christians or ‘little Christs.’ The Christians of that day were earthly definers of Christ. They defined Christ by actions, not the religious rhetoric that was so prevalent in their day.
God wants more than belief and worship in church. He wants faith and love in action outside of the church. God desires to connect the message with the audience through the applied practice of Christianity. After all, most people know what you are by what they see, not what they hear.
In this connection, let me share with you a true story published in The Prairie Observer.
When Wycliffe Bible translator Doug Meland and his wife moved into a village of Brazil’s Fulnio Indians, he was referred to simply as ‘the white man.’ The term was by no means complimentary, since other white men had deprived them of their lands.
But after the Melands learned the Fulnio language and began to help the people with medicine and in other ways, they began calling Doug ‘the respectable white man.’ When the Melands began adapting to the customs of the people, the Fulnio gave then greater acceptance and spoke of Doug as ‘the white Indian.’
Then one day, as Doug was washing the dirty, blood-caked foot of an injured Fulnio boy, he overheard a bystander say to another: ‘Whoever heard of a white man washing an Indian’s foot before? Certainly this man is from God!’
From that day on, whenever Doug would go into an Indian home, it was announced: ‘Here comes the man God sent us.’ Doug sent a message that was loud and clear…Christ’s love in action!
What about our values?
Remember Christians … we are carriers and couriers of Christ. We are God’s representatives ‘on earth as it is in heaven.’
We give God a face in the community…
• Royalty is our identity.
• Servanthood is our assignment.
• Intimacy with God is our source.
May we be meaningful in our community, demonstrating Christian values every day!
Dr Ed Delph is president of Nationstrategy, an organisation with the strategy of envisioning and empowering today’s leaders in the church to be some of tomorrow’s leaders in the community. Link: http://www.nationstrategy.com