“This is the way! Let’s go!”
Like the pearl merchant in Matthew 13, I have also found Treasure, the Golden Slope to Heaven. I scramble up the Golden Slope, falling on my face dozens of times, but I’m heading in the right direction. If only others would follow! I want them to know the amazing joy I’ve discovered. I want to share the treasure.
But nonbelievers only hear arrogance. In their ears, “This is the Way” sounds like “This is my Way.” They see me stumble—and call me a hypocrite.
Can I blame them? When I allow tough circumstances to control me, my attitude and actions do not mimic the kind and mild Jesus that the world envisions. But I am not Jesus. I’m not perfect like Him, so what can I do to communicate pure Truth? Pure Joy? Perfect Love?
B.T. Roberts, who lived a hundred and fifty years ago, addressed my problem in his book, Living Truths. He emphasized:
Positive actions trump negative actions.
- Treat all people graciously, no matter what they believe. In the current climate of American society, this kind of behavior seems to be the exception rather than the rule. I need to be the exception.
- A friendly spirit draws more people to church than a critical spirit. I’ve spent a lifetime overcoming the pitfall of a critical spirit. After forty years, I hope kindness rules my soul, but every once in a while…that witch of a critic raises her ugly head.
- Love attracts. Bitterness repels. Think about your favorite people. Which of these two qualities do they exhibit? If I were a betting person, I’d give odds of 99:1, love over bitterness.
Live like a honeybee, not like a wasp.
- Honeybees gather food from flowers which helps the flowers reproduce; they ignore “noxious” weeds.
- Honeybees make honey for their own benefit—and for others.
- Wasps only serve themselves and sting anything in their way. Honeybees sting in self-defense, which becomes an act of suicide if their enemy is a mammal.
Most of the time, I’m a honeybee seeking and supplying spiritual nourishment, but if I choose to sting in self-defense or mere frustration, I’ve destroyed myself. No, my body won’t die, but the sting of my words or actions just killed my testimony for Christ.
Expel the darkness.
As soon as light exists, darkness disappears. So ignore the other person’s darkness and let your light shine. Darkness can’t destroy my circle of light. As I stand joyfully, radiating God’s Light, others have the opportunity to flee from the shadows and join me in the Light.
Our God left heaven and put on a frail body of flesh and bone. While He walked back and forth from Galilee to Jerusalem He loved every person He met. He died for them. He died for those who lived before His appearance on earth, and He died for all future generations. He rose again, just like He predicted, and He shares His love with all who respond to His invitation.
This is my testimony. Like the lyrics in a famous Godspell song, I will follow Him “day by day.” I may lose my balance and scrape my knees on the path, but I will get up again and again and continue the journey. Anyone is welcome to join me on this trek up the Golden Slope to His throne.