Above & Beyond

Above & Beyond

 by Katrina Goodrich

 

Sometimes a word or phrase is spoken and it sticks with you. There are some lines that don’t fade into your memory (movie quotes, Bible verses, BAZINGA!).

 

During SCSC training one year, our team was given some advice I think about often. We were told that when we finished a task we should look around, find several other things that needed to be done, and ask the person in charge what they wanted us to start on next. If they blanked, then we could articulate our ideas and things could keep moving.

 

Taking the initiative like this is a small matter and most of the time people would never notice if it didn’t happen. But when you do, you stand out. Sometimes I wonder if that is where Christians miss an opportunity.

 

We are set on trying to live a better life, a more Christ-like life, to be the example of his light in a dark world. We attempt to live lives of godliness (a good thing to strive for) but it is impossible for us to be perfect. What is left when we fail? Is it really enough to fail less than non-Christians? Living a good life is what many people try to do. Is there really any difference doing that because of a religious belief? I think it is the absent actions which no one knows enough to miss that could set us apart. We need to look around and see what needs to be done – consistently.

 

In Colossians 4:5-6, Paul says that we should behave wisely and speak with grace, tempered with truth, toward unbelievers. Paul is concerned with our behavior toward others. This isn’t living a pure life others can see so maybe they’ll want it, too. That sort of behavior isn’t about others at all, it’s all about you. We can’t be pure even though that struggle is a part of our witness. Our behavior towards others is about caring for them physically, mentally, and then spiritually. We should be consciously looking for ways to support others, seeing what they need even if they don’t say it outright.

 

Speech is next. Paul says we should speak grace into the lives of other people. Not “kumbaya” communication but actually listening and then responding in truth. Being allowed to speak and be heard isn’t something that happens very often for many people these days. It’s even more rare for them to actually be listened to. The last part of verse six talks about knowing how to answer people, having the wit to make an articulated diplomatic response. But we can’t respond if we don’t listen. No matter how communicative our actions might be, they don’t tell the entire story. People need the why. We won’t get to tell them about our experience unless we are looking for and acting upon the opportunities they give us.

 

I think we treat evangelism as if we have to be on the street corner approaching strangers, using tracts, giving them the Gospel. But our best evangelistic opportunities don’t always come in that package. Sometimes the opportunity is with family, coworkers, friends, or neighbors. We miss it because we aren’t looking around to see what else needs to be done. God gives us opportunities to fulfill the Great Commission and will guide our behavior and words. All we need to do is recognize when it happens. God went above and beyond for us. What seems like above and beyond to other people is everyday when you are with Him.

 

 

Ladies don’t forget to bring or send your contributions to the Women’s Craft table at Conference. Get your ticket to the Women’s Banquet! Hope to see you all there!

 

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