Listening and Doing

Read: James 1:19-25

In last week’s meditation I shared about being who we say we are as Christians.  As our church van was being driven around Kansas City last week at our church convention this thought came to my mind.  On Friday night I went with our youth group to a Royals baseball game and I offered to drive the church van.  Our church van has the church’s name on three sides of the van.

As I weaved in and out of traffic and tried to go from line to line of cars to get where we need to be I had to remember that every move was a representation of our church and perhaps even Christianity.  I wondered how often we think about that in our daily lives.  If we had our church name or “Follower of Jesus” tattooed on our forehead how might that change how we respond to certain things?

In this first chapter of James, the brother of Jesus is encouraging us to not only listen to the ways of Jesus, but to apply them in our daily lives.  In verse 22 he says, “Do not merely listen to the word…. Do what it says.”

Here is another example that a friend shared with me this week.  Perhaps you have heard this story?  An honest man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy boulevard. Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman hit the roof, and the horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection. As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up!

He took her to the police station where she was searched, finger printed, photographed, and placed in a holding cell. After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal items.

He said, “I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. “I noticed the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘What Would Jesus Do’ bumper sticker, the ‘Follow Me to Sunday-School’ bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk. Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car.

As we live, work, drive, and give witness to Jesus in this world may we remember to “do” life as Jesus would have us “do” life.  May we live out our faith as we interact with those around us, even when they might test us.  And may the Lord forgive us for those times that we fail him in these things.

Make it personal:  Think about this past week. Can you think of times that you did not react in a Christ-like manner to others.  Can you think of times that your example did not give testimony to the Christian faith you proclaim?  Christ will forgive us for the the times we fail but let’s ask him to help us make those times less frequent.

Have a blessed week,  Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church