Calvary Love in my Words
“I used to go to church, then I heard the youth pastor making of someone in the youth group. I decided that if a leader did that, there must not be anything to this Christian thing. I’m not sure anymore that there is a God.”
“You’ve got your eyes on the wrong person,” was my response. “You have to put your eyes on Jesus. Read the book of John. The other gospels talk about what He did. John talks about who He is. See what He said about Himself. See what others said about Him. See who He is.”’
I hope it made an impact on that student. He came back two days later and said he had already read John and had learned some neat things. But the whole interchange made a different impact on me. I saw in a new way Jesus’ words in Matthew 12:34-38.
The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man out of his good treasure brings forth what is good: and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth what is evil. And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for in the day of judgment.
I can say easily that I don’t swear; I don’t take the name of God in vain; I am usually kind; I am usually careful with my words. I can justify myself in many ways, but I suddenly felt exposed. How often I have thoughtlessly talked to my fellow teachers about a student or what a student turned in or said or looked like. How often I have been disrespectful in what I say about a student. Am I trying to make myself look good by saying, “See what I have to put up with”?
Amy Carmichael, the missionary to India addressed this in her little book If.
If, in any way, I belittle those who I am called to serve. . .
if I talk of their weak points in contrast, perhaps, with what I think of as my stronger points…
if I adopt a superior attitude, forgetting to consider the wisdom of the voice that asks me, inwardly, “Who made you different from the one you are criticizing—and what do you have that you have not been given?. . .
if I can easily discuss the shortcomings or the sins of any man or woman. . .
if I can speak in an off-handed way, even of a child’s wrongdoing. . .
then I know nothing of Calvary love.
Oh, Lord! Teach me to love with Calvary love! I am sure that youth director who offended my student did not understand the harm he had done and I do not mean harm either, but both of us are wrong.
Change the thought-life in me when I strip others of dignity. . .or reduce them point by point. . .in order to build me up. And give me Your voice, to speak words of value. . . admiration. . .encouragement. . .compassion. . .true kindness. . . . (You Are my Hiding Place by David Hazard)
~~Faith Himes Lamb