I want to share an amazing experience that I had a few years ago that taught me a very valuable lesson.
It was a sunny afternoon & I had just gotten off work. If you’re wondering yes I was tired. The job that I had was at a lumber yard where I held the position of warehouse manager. Despite the title I barely earned more than minimum wage & I wasn’t sitting in an office giving commands. On the contrary I was outside in the Houston heat during the hottest times of the day throughout. I liked my job but it was very physically demanding and draining. I had a family to provide for (I was married at the time) & we weren’t in the best position financially so I had to take on as many hours as I could. This particular day I had got off work & was headed home. Don’t get me started on how amazingly frustrating it is to navigate in Houston during the rush hour traffic. I will tell you it is absolutely frustrating. I believe it was the ride home that contributed to the attitude & disposition that I had developed by the time I arrived.
Needless to say I was not in a good mood by the time I made it home. However, when I made it to my apartment complex I saw my brother. My mood was lightened to know that he had come to visit me. We stood outside and made small talk & shared a few laughs. While we were in conversation a man pulled right up behind my brother & began honking his horn like crazy! We were out of the way enough for this man to get by, but the stranger made it his business to express his complete displeasure with our standing there. I became enraged as the man drove by. Yes, I said it, Minister Marcus became engulfed in anger.
As the man passed I immediately jumped in my car! My brother (knowing how I can get) yelled for me to calm down but it was too late. I had reached my limit. My day was frustrating & now this! I was going to let this man have it. All the anger & frustration I had inside of me was going to be released in this moment. I drove my car following the stranger to his parking spot where I found him stepping out of the car. I stepped out of my car and yelled “What did you just say to me” (I’m paraphrasing of course lol I was speaking pretty harsh). By this time my brother pulls up behind me, jumps out of his car in order to come grab me before I could take any further steps. I could see the stranger getting angry also & that is exactly what I wanted. This situation was about to get ugly.
Suddenly at this point the stranger punches his own car and proceeds to come in our direction. My brother yells “Sir let’s not do this” as the stranger gets closer. At this point the stranger stops and says to us, ”Hey guys I want to apologize. I had a long day & I was stuck in traffic & I am about to be late for work. I wasn’t trying to be rude to you” looking at me as he spoke. He extended his hand and said “We are brothers we shouldn’t be doing this out here.” Immediately my anger cooled & I became convicted. I shook the man’s hand apologizing as well & the man left us walking to his apartment. Was he a Christian? Did God convict him like He was convicting me? I don’t know but what I do know is this stranger showed Christian character where I should have. I was convicted to the core. I am a minister from God for the people but that day my character didn’t show it.
I wrote this to illustrate my shortcoming that day as well as highlight the fact that it doesn’t matter what title you call yourself if your character does not show it. I believe that too many times we as Christians fail to SHOW our Christianity. My question is if I couldn’t hear you talk how would I know that you were a Christian? We are known by how we live & how we handle situations. We are recognized by how we respond to crisis & show Christian love. From that day I promised God that I would do my best to show my Christian character & not just talk about it.
Today I want you to consider that we as Christians have an obligation to SHOW what we believe. There will be situations that will be frustrating but that doesn’t change what we are here to do. We are to be the difference in character & behavior. Many people are turning away from church not because they have a problem with God, but because they have a problem with the people who say they represent God. The lesson I want to share with you today is the lesson of BEING a Christian. Today resolve to do your best not to talk about how spiritual you are, but to show how much of a Christian you are. The Christian is distinguished in character & behavior, not conversation. I failed at my Christian duty that day but I do my best not to ever misrepresent my faith ever again. I hope you can begin today to do the same. #beblessed