Have you noticed that there are times it is really hard to act like a Chrisitan? When you have a personal conflict with another Christian it’s hard to act like a Christian. When you have a personal conflict involving sports, it’s really a lot harder. When you have a personal conflict with another Christian involving sports and your children, then it is really, really tempting to set aside your Christian profession and just throw down the gloves and go at it.
Linda had a conflict with another Christian, named Paula. The conflict involved sports and, to make matters almost impossible it involved their girls. The ladies had words on the phone one night. The next morning Paul was waiting for Linda when she arrived at the church.
As soon as Paula saw Linda she began to weep and she sought forgivness for what she had said. Linda forgave her but some of the things she said were left some distance between the women. They still talked and greeted one another but they weren’t close like they were before. There was some emotional scar tissue. They went to the same church. Their daughters went to the same school. They played on the same basketball team. They had dozens of friends in common. They took communion in the same church. But there was still some distance.
Then tragedy struck. Linda was diagnosed with cancer. She didn’t know if she would live or die. She had to have painful and difficult treatments. She wondered if she would be able to see her six children grow up. Sometimes she was overwhelmed with fear. She prayed and she asked God for peace.
One day Linda’s doorbell rang. Paula was there with a full meal for Linda and her family. Linda and her husband have six children. It was no small act. Every week the doorbell rang again and Paula brought over another full meal for Linda and her family. I talked to Linda to confirm the detials of this story and get permission to tell it.
Linda said; “Ken, I have a big family, six children. She didn’t just boy a pizza and drop it off. She brought over a huge full meal once a week for weeks.”
Paula didn’t just log time at church listening to messages. She didn’t just claim to be a follower of Jesus when it was comfortable and convenient. Even when things were hard she acted like a Christian. Paula had more than flowery Christian talk and pretty praise songs. She didn’t just listen or talk, she obeyed what Jesus said. Jesus said; “love your enemy and do good…” She did.
Lois told me this story. She started the story and ended the story with the same phrase: “She is a real Christian, you know. She is a real Christian.”
July 11, 2011