"A Good Example"
August 17, 2008
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
I can't vouch for the authenticity of this story, but it was told to me this way:
A minister was making a wooden trellis to support a climbing vine. As he was pounding away on the little nails, he noticed a young boy was watching him. Since the youngster didn't say a word, the preacher kept on working.
At first, the minister thought the boy would soon become bored and leave. When that didn't happen, the preacher, thinking the boy was admiring his hammering skill, felt himself to be quite the carpenter.
Finally, and not without a little button-popping, the pastor said, "Well, son, trying to pick up some pointers on pounding a nail?"
"Nope," the boy replied. "I'm just waiting to hear what a preacher says when he hits his finger with a hammer."
If I were to try to get a lesson out of that story (and I will), I might say the little boy represents the people of the world who are watching and waiting for Christians to make a mistake.
You and I know there are unbelievers out there who love to crow when we mess up.
Thankfully, those people are in the minority.
On the other hand, there are many who want to see if Jesus really does make a difference in our lives. I pray He does. It would only be right that the Savior Who gave Himself for us, might produce some kind of difference in the way we lead our lives.
That's why, along with the story and the lesson, I hope you'll take my encouragement to watch what you say today when you're a-hammerin'. You see Jesus' carpenters are building a witness to the Savior.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear God, I want others to see that Jesus makes a difference in my life. Please give me the strength and wisdom to live my life as an example of Your love and forgiveness. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries