January 25th, 2024
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“…whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” – Colossians 3:17
Occasionally, we all do things privately that we do not intend to be witnessed by anyone else. We look around to ensure that we are alone, and then we proceed to do what flows naturally out of our true character. Suddenly, silently, someone walks in unexpectedly and catches us red handed. Without a doubt and with no other possible explanation, our actions are indelibly impressed on our beholder, and our reputations become firmly established.
Many years ago, I lived within walking distance of my grandparents. I didn’t need an invitation and knew that the back door was usually unlocked. One day as I approached their house, I noticed that their only car was gone, probably indicating that my grandmother had a hair appointment. I slipped through the screen door and wandered throughout the house, looking for my granddaddy. He was in a back room, oblivious to my unexpected presence. No doubt, I caught him red handed.
With his eyes closed and his back toward me, he was pouring out his spirit at the throne of God. He repeated “Jesus, Jesus,” and prayed over the ones he loved. He called the name of his wife, then his children, then his grandchildren, including me. I was embarrassed at the unintentional intrusion on such a private, powerful moment. However, I was held motionless by an invisible bond as I witnessed such an intense display of his relationship with the Lord. My granddaddy often counseled his family to spend time in fervent intercessory prayer, but now his direction was reinforced with example.
It’s the things we do in private, the things we don’t intend for anyone to see that truly show our character. One of our church ushers was always the most friendly, helpful, and generous person that we had ever known. But Sunday mornings can be a façade. Exactly how selfless was he during the week? Driving home one afternoon, I saw him standing in the road at a major intersection. He was pushing a stalled car into a parking lot as the driver gratefully steered into an open area. Acting alone, he was caught red handed.
The quickest way to make a positive impression on people is for them to see your humble acts of service, obedience, generosity, and compassion. Even in private, “…whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” You never know when you’ll be glad to have been caught.
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