Café Menu for Friday, April 13, 2012
Today’s Special is: Tell, But Not Show
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Suzie Eller
Main ingredient: “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness”. Romans 8:26a
I met a woman who was so eager to talk to me about Jesus that it spilled from her. I loved her enthusiasm, her faith.
Later I had a chance to get to know her better. A large group took a trip to a church several states away. We had time on a bus to chat; time waiting to get into the crowded service; time at restaurants.
Time. Lots of it.
As time passed I was a little confused because of little things that kept happening. A cross word to a server in a restaurant. Anger when things didn’t go her way. Frustration and acting out when she was tired. Sarcasm with leaders when they tried to gently reel her in.
I get it. It was a long trip. And no one is perfect, especially me.
But the portrait that I first saw from her words — joy, self-control, excitement over her faith — peeled away as actions and words revealed the insecurities and work in progress underneath.
It was a reminder to me that I can tell others about my faith, but just like my kindergarten class years and years ago, it’s show and tell. Not tell, and tell.
I can tell people all day long about my faith, but it is the words I don’t say (or do when I think no one is looking) that are the most revealing.
Our life, our deeds, the way we treat others. . . it all matters. Not in a people-pleasing kind of way, but because people who do not know Christ are confused when we say one thing and then do another.
I know that this woman loved Christ. Just as we all are, she was on a journey to become all that God desired. I’m sure that she has grown heaps and bounds!
But it is a reminder that from time to time we need to check our own heart. Do I complain? Do I gripe? Do I take out my frustration on people who I think will never see me in a church? Is there room for me to grow (there always is!) in the areas of self-control and gentleness and loving others?
No one is ever going to be perfect. But we can be genuine. We can apologize when we hurt someone. We can be gracious. We can be compassionate. We can be honest about the gaps in our lives, and address those areas. And when we fall short, we can scoop out of the immense grace that God gives daily.
But as we do that, let’s remember that sometimes less words are better as we show. . . and then tell.
Take-out: For the next week journal the times you “show” your faith. Also, note the moments that your words or actions spoke louder. Note those as areas of potential growth as a woman of faith. Invite God into those gaps. Don’t hold back. This is not a time to wallow in guilt, but in excitement to begin to anticipate what God wants to show you, and how much you will learn and grow!
Dessert: Dear Father, I can’t be perfect, nor do You expect that. Only You are perfect. Let my words and my actions show who You are, and when I fall short, teach me through my mistakes.
© 2011 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.
Are you craving MORE? Click here for Extreme Encourgement: and the freedom to take off your mask.
For more encouragement visit Suzie at her website: T. Suzzane Eller