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|A T-shirt That Would Make You Cry
By: Dr. Skip Myers
web posted Septmeber 12, 2005
Unfortunately, I must admit to a growing callousness in my life. We are subjected to so much data and information of varying types that we tend to become numb toward the effects it wishes to have upon us. But every once in awhile something is presented to me that breaks through the protective walls and draws blood. No, it wasn’t the news coverage of Katrina that broke the wall; it was a t-shirt.
I usually don’t pay much attention to what is written on people’s shirts. So much of it makes little sense but I do believe what is written on our clothes in some small way reflects what is in our heads. As this individual passed by, I read the following phrase on their shirt: “Losing faith in the human race one person at a time.”
I found myself actually mourning for someone who would be that cynical. Have we reached the point where we can no longer see any good in those around us? Is good extinct? I don’t believe that for one moment. I do believe however, that the good in our society is greatly overshadowed and ignored. Good, doesn’t attract an audience. Who can we blame for good? Ultimately, good comes from the very nature of God being exhibited by His children. This world doesn’t want to call attention to God because if they understand the love of God then they lose the ability to blame Him.
The temptation to concentrate on humanities worst examples can indeed result is such cynicism as exemplified by the words on the T-shirt. But let me assure you that all is not lost! There is hope and it can be seen all around if we are willing to believe in what the Lord brings to a person’s life. Realize that in order to see the best in humanity, we must be looking at those who possess the best in their lives.
I listened to our President as he commended the work being done by area churches to alleviate the pain and suffering caused by Hurricane Katrina. By working along side of national and state agencies, churches are on the front lines bringing hope to broken lives. We may be an institution filled with hypocrites (that seems to be the majority’s uninformed opinion of us) but at least we are willing to put our faith to work instead of cynically judging those in need.
Let me share a word from the Word with you. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. I John 3:16-18
Take a moment and reflect on these verses and then pray about your part in not only helping the victims of Katrina but also, in making your faith more visible by what you do for others. You can’t become everyone’s solution but you can touch one life at a time. It’s harder to convince someone of faith if all you ever do is talk at them. The worst saying to ever come out of a parent’s mouth (one that I am guilty of as well) is, “Don’t do as I do, do as I say do.” Faith that is vocal and active is much more likely to make an impact on someone. Words coupled with deeds are powerful instruments. Add God’s love as the motivation for what you say and do, and you become a witness, a powerful witness to the goodness of our Lord.
What do you have that someone else needs? Share it and watch what the Lord will do through your faithfulness. You might just change the heart of a T-shirt wearing cynic. Maybe you need a shirt that says, “Gaining faith in the Lord one believer at a time.”
Dr. Myers is Pastor of Smiths Station Baptist Church, Smiths Station Alabama and a former Youth Minister of Sweetwater Baptist Church (1981-1986)
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