CLEANING UP OUR ACT

After two weeks away from home to help during a family emergency, it’s good to be home and sleeping in my own bed. With piles of mail and catch-up items to deal with, I’m trying to clean up my act at home. More importantly, we all need to consider how to daily clean up our act when dealing with those around us. Let’s do it!

Eternal Perspectives             by Sally Bair

Cleaning up our act

Chipmunks, squirrels, deer and a host of other wild critters, are the bane of many a person’s backyard.  They devour the birdseed from feeders with nary a thought of the mess they leave behind.  Scattering seeds everywhere, they leave their mess for someone else to clean up.  Surely they do better in their own homes.

Beavers, for instance, leave a mess behind—gnawing perfectly good trees down and letting the chips fly as they might—yet are fastidious about their lodges. Underwater cameras have proven that their homes are so clean they’d easily pass the white glove test.

Animals don’t know any better.  They’re programmed by instinct to do whatever it takes to get their food and water, and their housekeeping habits are meant to ensure good health.  Humans, however, are taught to keep their homes and bodies clean and neat.  But what about their actions, words, and thoughts?  Perhaps we all need to do a little cleaning up and seriously consider what kind of a mess we leave behind.

A story I read on the Internet goes this way.  On boarding a city bus, a preacher was overpaid 25 cents in change for his fare.   As he rode, he wondered if he should bother to give it back.  After all, what’s a quarter these days?  But he did return it.  The driver surprised him with these words: “You’re the new preacher in town, right?  I gave you that quarter to see what you’d do with it.  Now I’ll come to your church.”

Sometimes our lives are the only Bible that some people will ever read.  Philippians 2:14-15 says, “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and depraved generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life…”  Paul also teaches us to give thanks to the Lord in all things. There should be no cause for any of us to complain.

Lord, thank You for giving us the strength and power to think, speak and act rightly, without complaint. Keep us aware of how our words and deeds will affect those who hear and see.  May we not be wasteful or hurtful or dishonest in anything we do, but rather intent on honoring You.  Reveal to us ways we can be shining lights to those around us.  In Jesus’ name, amen.