The time has come.
My 20th high school reunion. I cannot attend because I live in Asia! But, nevertheless, the reunion definitely has me reflecting... reflecting on the old me. I am not sure that many people from high school would really recognize me. Oh, they would know my face and my name, but I am not the same person at all.
I know what you are thinking. Everybody changes. They mature. That's true, but that's not what I am talking about.
You see, in high school I wasn't really a Christian. I carried the title of Christian around. I even went to church. When I was 9 years old I even said a prayer and was baptized. But I had no idea of how to really become a Christian.
And that's why there was no change in my life.
When I was younger, I was so shy and insecure. I tried to mask it by pretending to be confident and outgoing, but inside was a different story. I was hurting. I hated life. I hated myself. My family was falling apart, and I had no joy. I was pretty good at pasting on a smile.
High school was actually very difficult for me. No, not the academic part... though Pre-Calculus threw me for a loop! I actually made great grades for the most part.
But while I was in high school, I didn't understand my value.
You have waited so patiently for the before and after pictures. Here they are...
The Fellowship Hall:
God blessed abundantly when He chose our home. It was picked out before we came to Southern Asia. We had friends who looked for months for a home for us. We had given them a budget limit and some ideas of things that would be nice to have in a home, but we made it clear that we had no real expectations. Whatever God provided, we would be content. But when they saw this home, there was no doubt that God had picked it. They secured the home and then called us to let us know they found one. The price was almost half what it was worth because the home had been vacant for over a year. There were several items of furniture that were still in the home for us to use, saving us lots of money.
Maybe you are ready… ready to give an answer. If someone asks you why you have this hope or why you believe what you believe, you have an answer, but do you have the answer in the right attitude?
Meekness and fear. Not rude. Not belligerent. Not demanding or prideful.
I remember when I first got saved. I was attending Bible college. Suddenly, I felt I knew everything, had all the right answers and was going to win all my family and friends to the truth.
And much of what I believed and said really was truth. But it was my pride and arrogance that really damaged relationships. It turned their ears and hearts away from truth.
Why meekness? Why should we, if we have truth, answer in meekness? Because we need to remember the grace that was given to us when we didn’t deserve it.
Grace… unmerited favor. Answering people with a kindness even when they are not treating you with kindness.
Why with fear? Not fear as in knees shaking, but respect.
Seasoned with salt… salt makes things taste good. It is also a preservative. Preserving what? Preserving testimony, relationship, emotional control, and NEVER straying from truth.
Speak the truth in love… speak the truth in meekness… Speak the truth with respect… speak the truth in grace… and speak the truth in such a manner that it is not compromised, nor is your testimony or relationship with those you are speaking to damaged.