|Welcome to The Week In Words, where we share quotes from the last week’s reading. If something you read this past week inspired you, caused you to laugh, cry, think, dream, or just resonated with you in some way, please share it with us, attributing it to its source, which can be a book, newspaper, blog, Facebook — anything that you read.|
"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." ~ Maya Angelou, via Michael HyattA good thing to remember! One thing my husband and I have learned in 15 years in the ministry is that many (most?) people come to church because of relationships. They feel welcome, or feel loved, or feel secure . . . it's not true across the board, but I think there's some merit in this quote.
I've been reading some books by Grace Livingston Hill lately. The latest one I read was Blue Ruin. The main female character, Lynette, found herself on an ocean voyage among the typical rich, worldly people of that day, brought along as a good influence on her cousin, who was quickly becoming a "flapper." Lynette realized that she could not change her young cousin, and determined within herself these things:
"She must keep quiet and let the Lord lead her. She must not grow narrow or critical or hard . . . but she must not yield an iota of what she believed to be right, nor lower her own standard in any degree! That was settled! For the rest she was here, and must stay for a time at least, and her business was to witness. That was all, just witness, witness for the right, not preach. Let everybody see what Christ could do with a surrendered soul. She could leave the rest with God. She need not worry whether she was accomplishing anything or not. She did not have to accomplish. That was God's part. She was just a witness!" Blue Ruin, Grace Livingston Hill, p. 182-183Of course, some part of witnessing is actual, verbal presentation of the Gospel, but I believe in living a life that exemplifies Christianity too, and this quote resonated with me.
Another key point in the book, taken from a sermon:
"'From all this self life we have to be emancipated before God can use us,' went on the preacher earnestly. 'We have to get to the place where it does not matter in the least what people say or do, so long as God is satisfied and we are in the way of His will. This is the way of peace and the way of victory. But we have to go down to the realm of death, the 'I' has to be slain. It is just in the measure in which the 'I' has been crucified that Christ in the power of His resurrection can be revealed.'" Blue Ruin, Grace Livingston Hill, p. 205How many times I wonder if I'm accomplishing anything, if people are seeing that we're working hard, which is a concern for most missionaries as we report regularly to our supporting churches. We should be accountable to our supporting churches, but we have to be careful not to get so wrapped up in what our supporters think that we forget it's not all about us, but about pleasing God and being surrendered to Him daily. As the "preacher" said in the above quote, that is the way of peace and victory, and how God's power is used in our lives. And that is true in every Christian's life, no matter what their calling or occupation.
The Week in Words is hosted by my friend Barbara. Drop by and see what quotes spoke to her and others this past week!