By Michael Crandall
Senior Pastor, Hillcrest Baptist Church, Dyersburg
Focal Passage: Matthew 5:33-42
It is often said that how we react to life is one of the most important things in life! When a follower of Christ walks through a situation the world around us often watches us go through whatever is happening. When they are watching us they may or may not remember all the details but one thing is often remembered and that is our reaction.
A couple of years ago, my family walked through one of those times when the world really stopped and looked at us. And many could not wait to see our reaction. You see the situation was one that rocked my family to its core! My three children and I were in an auto accident and our daughter was severely injured! The night of the wreck our daughter underwent the first of what would become 16 major surgeries over the course of the next 12 months. The doctors did not give us much hope and all we could do was pray! Our family decided that night that we would trust God no matter what! Yes, we cried and worried, but we prayed and we trusted God to walk us through this time! We knew people were watching and we knew that we could cause some to stumble if we were not careful.
This week we find Jesus, teaching on this very subject. He says: “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no;’ anything beyond these is of evil. You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.”
Over the last few years since the wreck, God has opened so many doors to share our faith in Him. Our daughter has had a difficult road to walk! But we prayed for God’s will to be done! And though the days and nights were long and often sleepless because of our human nature to worry, God worked. She will always have the scars from the wreck and surgeries, but she has accepted Christ as her Savior and I have had the privilege to get into those baptismal waters with her! We know God has great plans for her! Today as I write this, she is in her room practicing her piano skills, and singing along as she plays. Tears are often in my eyes because of what God has done! Always remember the world is watching and we can make a huge impact for Christ if we react in a Christ-like manner.