Sunday, March 25, 2007

The better half

I, John, have been spending perhaps too much time wondering what kind of impression I have on people. How does the passer-by see me; how do my co-workers see me; how does my family see me; how do the people at church see me?

Does that matter? I think it does. Not in the sense that I will strive to become what 'they' like, but more in line with "Do they see me as I wish to be seen?"

I think there are two halves to me.

One half is the person I want to be.
One half is the person others see me as.

So as I think, I contemplate what is within my control. More than I might like. It is easy to blame others for their "incorrect" perceptions of me, but a much more noble task to act in such a way that they have "no other choice" but to see me the way I want to be seen.

As I read that sentence I hope it makes sense.

The church service today was about compassion. Compassion being a combination of two halves- a soft heart and a willing hand.

I would like to think I have both, but really I have a willing hand with a dense heart.

As a Christian it is my chosen lifestyle to follow Jesus' example- so was he compassionate? More than anything else.

Jesus never passed up an opportunity to help. When his disciples encouraged him to escape the crowd, Jesus chose to serve them. When the masses pushed past one downtrodden, Jesus sought out the individual and served him. Jesus always put others before himself. Yep- every time. If there are any reading this that wonder what Christianity is- please don't loook at me because I am a failure.

Look at Jesus. If you look with sincerity you will find that he turned away from power and glory. He served the lepers, criminals, poor, prostitutes, etc. with all he had. He treated everyone with respect regardless of religion, race, gender. (go ahead- challenge me).

When I think of my two halves, I like to think I am a lot like Jesus- but I must admit that I doubt others see me that way.

I have a lot of work to do.

See ya along the way.

-john

2 comments:

Dean said...

John,

You and I have had some pretty in-depth theological discussions in the past. I always enjoyed talking with you about what you believe and why you believe it (^: I think what you are getting at here, is the only thing that really matters. Are we living as Christ did, and can others, because of the way we are living, see Christ in us.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you were speaking about how Jesus treated all people the same, no matter if they were prostitutes, drunkards, etc. He loved them all. That is because those were the people He came to help. He looked at the religious people of the day and scorned them, because they thought they had done everything right, and felt like they did not need a Savior. He did not hang out with them. Don't believe me?, Why was He referred to as a drunkard and a glutton. It was because he chose to hang out with the people that needed him the most.

I wonder how many of us can say that we hang out with the people that need us (or Christ in us) the most. And if we are hanging out with these people, can they see Christ in us. I would have to say that most of us (me included) like to hang out with the people that are just like us, or the people that have the same social standing, etc. How many of us are really showing the love of Christ to those in need.

I would like to think that I am beginning to try, but I find that I am having to totally change the way I think . This is a good thing.

Shelley said...

I know exactly how you feel (hence the RHI post on my blog). If you really believe something, it's important to let others see it in your actions. That's easier said than done sometimes, I'm afraid. That day I left RHI and noticed such a difference in my life was also the day that I realized the "me others see" at work probably didn't coincide with the "me I think I am or would like to be". The good news - I've always thought you are a good man and a good example of Christ. It's just that terrible place you're working at that makes it such a struggle. And I think understanding that we need to change and wanting to change are two very important things. If more people could be introspective and do that in their own lives, the world would be a better place. Good luck to you.