A ‘Blue Blue’ Christian

TheDiscipleMD

I had been the insurance agent for the family for over a decade. This fine couple had stopped into my office almost monthly for years to pay their premiums. Our conversations were always cordial and over the course of time they let me know, sometimes rather evangelically, that they were Christians of the first order. They spoke often of their faith and strongly of their belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ. They were always pleasant, mild mannered and respectful. I thought of them as good Christian people.

Then one morning I received a phone call from the wife of this Christian family requesting that I do some service for their policy which would compromise my standards and position with my company. I explained, in detail, the situation to my client and why I could not follow through with her request. She understood but insisted that I do so. I explained that, again, doing so would constitute a dishonest act on my part. She got very upset with me and finally I told her that if she wanted to change her story, or explanation of the request, I could fulfill it. She indignantly said, “I’m not going to lie!” I told her that was up to her but that she was requiring me to do the same by insisting on the request. When she hung up I felt very bad, but thought how interesting it was that she didn’t want to compromise her “Christian” standards, but had no problem if I did, so as to benefit her family.

Later that day I received a phone call from the husband. No sooner had I gotten on the line than he proceeded to let out a blue streak of profanities that would make any man blush. He called me every distasteful name I had ever heard, and some that I hadn’t. I never got to respond because as soon as he was finished with his tirade, he hung up on me. I was quite shaken by the whole thing. Never had I been shown such disrespect. A couple of days went by and I received a phone call of apology from the wife, which I accepted. But the husband never called.

Anger is such a terrible and destructive emotion when left unchecked. Things are said that can never be taken back. Even in forgiveness, a side of a person has been revealed that can linger in the shadows of the mind of the offended, often for years, sometimes a lifetime.

The inconvenient truth is that “talking the talk” is a lot easier than “walking the walk.” Let us follow the admonition of James-

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass. (James 1:22-23). What was St. James saying? He follows with this great insight. “For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was” (vs. 24).

I wonder if, perhaps I too am also guilty of forgetting who I am. I know from time to time I too, walk away from the mirror and then forget what manner of man I should be. Do I lose my temper over trivial things? Do I want people to do things that are to my advantage, when I know full well it is not right? Do I rationalize that by thinking all is well, so long as I personally don’t do it. I do believe that the apostle James was right, when he followed up his remarks on this subject by writing:

“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain” (James 1:26).

 

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