6/18/08

Say What?

So I was in a line at the post office yesterday, waiting [im]patiently for the clerk to complete the transactions of the 10,999 people in front of me so that I could pick up my package.

I reached the window and smiled at the clerk as I've done multiple times in the past [no, really, multiple times. I practically LIVE at the post office some days]. This particular clerk thinks that I have the greatest accent ever, so he asks me to repeat everything I say twice; it's partially amusing, partially frustrating, but beyond that, we haven't ever had prolonged interactions.

Yesterday, though, he paid me a compliment.

'You go to that church, don't you?' he motioned in the vague direction of my church and asked.

'I do, actually!' I replied.

'I can tell. There's something different about you. The spirit of God is just all around you. You know what? You remind me of Proverbs 15'.

'Proverbs 15? I do?' I asked. [I'm not gonna lie - I was frantically searching my brain to remember which Proverb he was comparing me to. Apparently, I cannot summon the Proverbs to my rememberance like I thought I could.]

'You do. Look it up when you get home. Proverbs 15' he said with finality.

So I didn't. I got busy last night and never got a chance to dig around and see what he meant.

But I remembered today, and since he wasn't specific about which part applies to me, here's what Proverbs 15 (the Message) says in it's entirety:

1 A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.

2 Knowledge flows like spring water from the wise;
fools are leaky faucets, dripping nonsense.

3 God doesn't miss a thing—
he's alert to good and evil alike.

4 Kind words heal and help;
cutting words wound and maim.

5 Moral dropouts won't listen to their elders;
welcoming correction is a mark of good sense.

6 The lives of God-loyal people flourish;
a misspent life is soon bankrupt.

7 Perceptive words spread knowledge;
fools are hollow—there's nothing to them.

8 God can't stand pious poses,
but he delights in genuine prayers.

9 A life frittered away disgusts God;
he loves those who run straight for the finish line.

10 It's a school of hard knocks for those who leave God's path,
a dead-end street for those who hate God's rules.

11 Even hell holds no secrets from God
do you think he can't read human hearts?
Life Ascends to the Heights
12 Know-it-alls don't like being told what to do;
they avoid the company of wise men and women.

13 A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face;
a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.

14 An intelligent person is always eager to take in more truth;
fools feed on fast-food fads and fancies.

15 A miserable heart means a miserable life;
a cheerful heart fills the day with song.

16 A simple life in the Fear-of-God
is better than a rich life with a ton of headaches.

17 Better a bread crust shared in love
than a slab of prime rib served in hate.

18 Hot tempers start fights;
a calm, cool spirit keeps the peace.

19 The path of lazy people is overgrown with briers;
the diligent walk down a smooth road.

20 Intelligent children make their parents proud;
lazy students embarrass their parents.

21 The empty-headed treat life as a plaything;
the perceptive grasp its meaning and make a go of it.

22 Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail;
take good counsel and watch them succeed.

23 Congenial conversation—what a pleasure!
The right word at the right time—beautiful!

24 Life ascends to the heights for the thoughtful—
it's a clean about-face from descent into hell.

25 God smashes the pretensions of the arrogant;
he stands with those who have no standing.

26 God can't stand evil scheming,
but he puts words of grace and beauty on display.

27 A greedy and grasping person destroys community;
those who refuse to exploit live and let live.

28 Prayerful answers come from God-loyal people;
the wicked are sewers of abuse.

29 God keeps his distance from the wicked;
he closely attends to the prayers of God-loyal people.

30 A twinkle in the eye means joy in the heart,
and good news makes you feel fit as a fiddle.

31 Listen to good advice if you want to live well,
an honored guest among wise men and women.

32 An undisciplined, self-willed life is puny;
an obedient, God-willed life is spacious.

33 Fear-of-God is a school in skilled living—
first you learn humility, then you experience glory.

I hope it's true, because if so, that means that someone saw Jesus in me - and that's an honor.

Here's what I get from Proverbs 15; a true Christian is kind and humble, committed to being REAL. A true Christian speaks carefully and prayerfully, building up instead of tearing down. A true Christian is God-loyal [I LOVE that term, thank you, Message!] and content in Him. A true Christian's personal, daily, real walk with God is evident to everyone that he or she meets.

It's not rocket science. It's not supposed to be about a Jesus fish or a scripture t-shirt or even a religious job or title. It's about what people are seeing in you, every day. If you're in the middle of a smashingly powerful worship service, you shine Jesus rays. If you're #11,000 in line and you have places to be, you still shine Jesus rays.

Maybe this only means something to me, since I happened to meet the stranger with the kind face who reminded me what kind of Christian I need to be; but whether or not you were complimented by a mail clerk yesterday, the message applies to you. Don't even lie. You know it's true! ;o)

It's about real Christianity. An everyday walk with purpose, passion, and proof. [Oh, yeah. I just went there with the triple Ps. Love me for it.]

Are you living it?


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