BigJoel came in this morning and announced that he needed a break from all things inaugural. It was a beautiful day and we formulated a plan of action to take care of several errands that had been shelved for the past two weeks. It was nice to be feeling good, get out in the fresh air and feel a sense of purpose.
Mid-morning, we walked into Hometown Wireless Store to inquire about a problem that just recently developed with my cell phone. The store was relatively busy with several customers and only two employees. We weren't in any hurry, so we waited patiently. Already in progress when we arrived, was some sort of drama involving a young college-aged girl whose phone had malfunctioned for the third time in two weeks.
We weren't really paying much attention until she used the store's phone to call Customer Service, demanded to talk to a supervisor, then another supervisor, then another. At one point, she was trying to emphasize the severity of her dilemma and she said, "They said they fixed it and it worked for a while. But yesterday I was on my way home from Bible study and it just did it again." I shot a glance at Joel and saw him make the "ooo, ouch" grimace.
One our biggest pet peeves is when Christians misbehave in public. You know, the people who've obviously just come from church on Sunday and then give the waitress a hard time at the restaurant. Or the guy who cuts you off and flips you off in traffic but has the Christian fish emblem on his bumper. Joel says if you want to act like an @$$ that's your choice, but don't bring Jesus in with you. Miss Thang had thrown the Bible study card. *eyes rolling*
The situation was awkard. I felt myself physically turning my back to the girl. I just kept thinking, "Doesn't she know how bad she sounds? In the grand scheme of things, is a cell phone worth losing your witness over?"
Finally, our situation was resolved and we went on our way. When we got in the car, we let loose. The nerve! I knew immediately that I'd be blogging about Christians' responsibility to be above the fray when dealing with the world.
Time got away from me this evening, so I went to bed before posting. But as I lay there with my thoughts rolling around in my head thinking how I would cleverly use this situation to remind others everywhere to mind their manners, something happened. A Spirit of conviction came over me. Hard.
This is what the Lord said to me:
You were so quick to judge that girl. You condemned her for making Me look bad. Yet I put you there at that moment and gave you insight that you could have used to help her. But instead you looked the other way. You physically turned your back on her. As the only other woman in the room, you did nothing to encourage her, to help her see that those boys working there weren't heartless, they just didn't have a clue how to communicate with a girl in distress. That girl may or may not have been a believer. Going to Bible study doesn't make you a Christian...you know better than that. If she wasn't a believer, did she get a glimpse of Me in you today? If she was a believer, don't you remember my admonition for the older women to teach and encourage the younger ones? You've been asking for opportunities to share your faith, to be a witness in all you do. I gave you that opportunity and instead you sat smuggly by and thought to yourself, 'Lord, thank you that I am not like that.' I believe I spoke about people like you in My Gospels. I believe they are called Pharisees.
Ouch. I haven't come face to face with my sin like that in quite a long time. Evidently, its been long enough.
So the moral of the story is, "Christians, remember who you are and Whose Name you bear."
I hope you've learned your lesson.
I pray I have.