'AND Witness'

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

Patricia Holbrook in her Saturday’s AJC Commentary entitled “What will they say when you leave?”, spoke words that need repeating.

“I have seen it too many times.  Children of churchgoers (and even ministers) rebelling against God because their parents’ talk, and their walk did not match.  How many people cringe at the name of Jesus because they were around self-righteous Christians whose words did not translate into actions?  The apostle Paul said it this way in his letter to the Ephesians: ‘For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord.  So, live as people of the light.’” (Ephesians 5:8)

“Indeed, we should take this light shining business seriously because the implications of having an unsavory and dim life can be devastating.  We may go to church every Sunday, serve on 10 committees, sing in the Choir and teach, but if we come home and make our family life miserable because of an inconsistent walk, we will push those dearest to us away from God instead of closer to God.” 

“What kind of Christian would I be at work, if I had verses hanging all over my cube, but was known as the office gossiper?  Or did a careless job?” (AJC, Saturday, December 7, 2019)
In the Arbinger Institute’s book, The Anatomy of Peace, it is written: “We might disagree about a lot of things, but HOW we do it makes a BIG difference.” (P.47) Why we do things and HOW we do things matters…a lot!

In the United Methodist Church, we covenant to uphold the church with our ‘prayers, presence, gifts, service AND witness.’  Certainly, we must pray.  To ‘show up’ for anything is 90%.  Being people of generosity in all of stewardship is a strong indicator of our maturing spiritual growth.  Being a part of something bigger than ourselves through service takes us to a deeper journey with others and God.   AND witness…this is the one that hangs as a burden for me these days.  How do those like us and those unlike us view our ‘talk and walk’?  While we have a real opportunity to launch God’s love into the world of others, it feels, at times, we are limping it along as we struggle to be consistent faith-talker/walkers.

Patricia Holbrook ends her commentary with these words: “I used to say that it did not matter what people thought about me, but that has changed through the years.  In a sense, it does matter, for I hope that every time I leave a room or, ultimately, the day I leave this world, people will say that the Gospel I believed in and preached about reached past my words and into my daily walk.”  May it be so. 

Peace on Earth, Good will to all. Humankind is counting on it.

Always Thinking…

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