Monday, July 28, 2008

James says that every good and perfect gift is from above, but how do we know what is "good and perfect"?

I feel like it's easy to make what we want to do seem as though it is "good and perfect" for us, but perhaps God sees things differently. We need to listen to His voice with open and willing hearts.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why So Hostile?

Today a man pointed his finger firmly into the air and told me that "Jesus was the best carpenter ever, so when you work you should do it for him, and it should be your best." Looking into his eyes, no matter how much I searched I did not see kindness or love. He was trying to intimidate me/guilt me into painting his house the best I could, and he did not know me. I listened and tried to communicate that he could trust us with his house.

While I painted I kept thinking about how he treated us. I asked myself, who's to say Jesus was the best carpenter ever? Who cares if he was or not. What matters is that he was loving in all he did. He treated people with kindness and respected people, even the fishermen, drunkards, prostitutes, lepers, tax collectors...and I'm sure he would treat painters the same today. Unfortunately this man did not have the gospel right, focusing more on doing a "good job" in life than on loving as Christ loved.

The apostle Paul once wrote, "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing."

This man reminded me of how much the gospel has been and can be twisted in the mind of those who have met Jesus, but have not followed him, who have forgotten what he taught.

Jesus said to "Love the Lord your God with all of your heart," and "love your neighbor as yourself," not "do the best you can at your job."

Mother Teresa, a woman who sought after Jesus so much throughout her life, used to say, "We can do no great things, just small things with great love. It is not how much you do, but how much love you put into doing it."