Daily Thoughts

Uplifting Daily Christian Thoughts

Wednesday, January 11

Do we ever use other people?

His name was Billy. Without question he was the most popular boy in our junior high school. As a ninth-grader, he played on the school basketball team and made good grades, and he was popular with the girls. He was also running for student body president.

I was a lowly seventh-grader who would have given my right arm to trade places with him. So when Billy took notice of me, spoke to me in the hallway between class periods and generally treated me well, I was impressed. Naturally, when it was time to vote, I cast my vote for him.

Billy was elected. He never spoke to me again.

Forty years after that experience, I stepped down from leadership as a superintendent in my denomination. I am amazed at what happened. For one thing, the telephone stopped ringing. Before, when I would check my e-mail messages, I would find dozens waiting; now the screen tells me that there are none. People who once made a point of calling me or of taking me to lunch have disappeared from my life.

All this might make some people angry or bitter, but it drives me to the mirror. I am more troubled for what it says about me than for what it says about other people. Because, as I look into the mirror, I see a person who has sometimes been guilty of the very same kind of behavior. It is easy to stop seeing people for who they are and to start seeing them as things to be used or ignored.

When I was a college freshman, E. Stanley Jones came to our campus to speak. He was one of the most famous missionaries in the world. People who knew him commented that E. Stanley Jones was more like Jesus than anyone else they knew.

After Mr. Jones' lecture, he was immediately taken out of the auditorium by people who were responsible to get him to his next appointment. A few minutes later I was standing alone in a hallway when I saw a group of people hurrying in my direction. At the center was E. Stanley Jones. I tried to move closer to the wall and out of their way, but Mr. Jones saw me and stopped.

I still remember his smile and his eyes focusing on me. It was as if we were the only ones present. He wanted to know who I was, where I was from and what subjects I was studying. While the people with him looked at their watches and then looked disapprovingly at me, he listened intently to my answers.

For those few minutes I knew that I genuinely mattered to him. And I knew the reason was connected in some way to his relationship with Jesus Christ. Being young and shy, I never would have stopped him. But he saw me and wanted to stop. I believe that Jesus would have stopped His delegation to talk to me too.

Be encouraged to have the same mindset towards all men. Do not be like the world giving preference to those who bring benefits to you. Treating a stranger the same as you would treat a millionaire not only shows what great character you possess, but more importantly shows the Spirit of the Living God that lives within your heart. This should be the main objective that all believers strive for to Love equally without prejudice and treat others the way we ourselves would want to be treated. (Romans 12:16)

By Robert E. Rogers who is a pastor, a speaker and a free-lance writer. He and his wife, Brenda, are parents of two grown children and live in Bethel, Delaware.

Source: Decision, May 2000, Copyright (c) 2000 Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, www.graham-assn.org/decision

From http://www.witandwisdom.org
Used with permission

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