Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Attitude…or Beatitude?

I have a point blank question for you; do you treat people with piercings, colored hair, tattoos or anything out of the “norm” with the same respect as you do a person in a business suit?

Recently I observed a young man receive what appeared to be judgmental looks as well as an attitude from a business man. (With that said, there is NO way for me to know what someone else is thinking. I’m going by my own experiences and what the appearance was at the time and place.)

This young man was taking orders and making sandwiches in a restaurant.
As I stepped up to order after the business man, the young man’s eyes just barely met mine so that I would know that it was my turn to order.
(Whatever the reason was for his lack of eye contact, I felt compassion for him.) I placed my order, went on, got my sandwich, and sat down to eat when I realized that it was missing one of the main ingredients. I really didn’t want to say anything about it, but somehow I knew that’s exactly what I needed to do. I took the sandwich back to the counter where I had ordered. The only person available to speak with was the young man with the piercings and blue and red colored hair. I gently asked him about the ingredients on the sandwich. He appeared somewhat stressed about the error, but quickly and politely took care of it. As he handed my sandwich back to me, he looked as if he were dreading what I had to say to him. “Thanks and have a nice day” was all that needed to be said. He seemed somewhat surprised.

Oh, how important it is that we treat others with the same respect in which we want to be treated!! As is says in the bible; “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31

At this moment, my heart was overwhelmed with compassion for this young man. All I could do, at this point, was pray for salvation (if needed) for him, as well as salvation for anyone in the restaurant willing to do so, whenever and wherever possible in their lifetime.

In Matthew, Jesus spoke these words, better known as “The Beatitudes”.
They are guidelines in which to help us in our walk with the Lord…things that will be seen- in us- by others, as followers of Christ.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad for great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:3-12

Now, I have no idea whether or not the business man was a Christian or not. That’s not for me to judge. But, I do know this. Those of us who have come to know Jesus as our Savior, really need to make the highest priority of allowing the love of God not only show…but, flow through us.
We have no reason to boast of our own salvation or anything else for that matter. If we are saved, we are saved, not by anything that we have done, but by the grace and mercy that God has extended to us through the death of His only son, Jesus. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2: 8-9 It’s now our job to “keep ourselves in a state” that allows God’s love, mercy and grace to be shown to others through us. Stir up the Holy Spirit within yourself.
Ask God to show you how to show His love to those around you…no matter where you are. Do you have an attitude or are you practicing the beatitudes?

As I left the sandwich shop that day, all I could think of is how my Savior was pierced…for me...on the cross. His hair was, more likely than not, colored red with blood…for me. His body was tattooed with bruises and injuries from being beaten and whipped…for me…for my salvation…salvation through Jesus Christ, something I cannot earn or purchase. Salvation is a gift that has been given to me and you, freely, by the Creator of the universe. All we have to do is receive it. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our
iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes, we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

I wonder if the business man would have reacted with the same look and attitude if it had been Jesus, pierced, red hair and tattooed with bruises, behind that counter? I believe this is a good question for all of us. (In no way, shape or form, do I intend an attitude of judgment towards the business man.) Do you have an attitude or are you practicing the beatitudes? I ask this same question of myself. I want to continue to press into the Lord…more of Him and less of me. It will only make me a better person.

I have to confess…I continue to be amazed by God’s ability to take such a common, everyday occurrence, show His love, grace and mercy through me, a sinner saved by grace, then, give me the words to share with others. I intend no praise for myself through this or any other writing. I am both humbled and grateful to be used and taught by God in this way. It is my hope and prayer that you, too, will find God leading you in the same way.

By :: angie c tipton, "The Landing" worship leader Friday Nights at Fellowship.

If you would like info about Celebrate Recovery or the teen version "The Landing", contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

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