Food For Thought I’m going to share a story with you today, something that I experienced almost twenty years ago, words that seem to have a sadness in them.
It was my first or second year of teaching and was witnessing a conversation between two staff members. It wasn’t anything major, just a typical before-school “how are you.” The recipient of the question replied, “Oh, I’m doing wonderful this morning. I was driving to work, singing in the car, just me and Jesus! Praise His wonderful name!”
Now, when I first heard this comment, two things entered my mind. First, I had never heard anyone be so bold about their love of Jesus in the workplace…it just wasn’t encouraged in public schools. Second, I sadly admit, I rolled my eyes, or at least thought about it. Not because she was proclaiming Jesus, but because her everyday actions didn’t exactly match this vocal proclamation of faith. Shame on me for even thinking I could judge this woman I barely knew! But, surprisingly, neither of my two thoughts are what has stuck in my mind all these years, although I can clearly remember the whole scenario.
I wasn’t alone when I was standing in the hallway before school that morning. A good friend and mentor staff member was standing with me. What she said in response has somehow left an impression on me all these years, and not really in a good way. Upon overhearing the conversation, she turns to me and says, “I just hate people who wear Jesus on their sleeve.” Whoa, what??? I struggled so much with her comment, I didn’t even know how to respond. I think I was particularly shocked that someone who claimed to be religious would say such a thing. This statement would come from a lady who claimed to go to church every week and wore a cross around her neck, not an atheist or agnostic. Then, the whole idea of hating someone for proclaiming their faith? I have to admit that I lost a lot of respect for my mentor in that moment.
I was very young and impressionable in that stage of life. I admit that I began to think the “safest” thing to do was to keep my faith comments to myself, especially in the work place. I assumed that if this older, wiser, Christian woman could have these thoughts, most likely others would, too. And sadly, I slowly let my public faith take a backseat, until strangers and acquaintances might simply think I was a good person, but nothing more.
Well, now it’s my turn to be older and wiser and I couldn’t have been more wrong! This world needs Jesus on our sleeve! Those of us living in faith, should proudly proclaim it! I just can’t help but think of the amazing changes we could see in our homes, communities, in this nation, if people that claim to be Christians would start to wear Jesus on their sleeve a little more…in our workplaces, in our schools, in our everyday errands and activities.
Is it easy? Not always. Can it be dangerous? Sometimes. Is there a price to pay? At times, yes. It won’t always be comfortable, but it will always be worth it! God has promised…PROMISED…great rewards for those who seek Him first and work for the Lord and His kingdom.
Corresponding Verses to Read