Monthly Inspirational

January 2019 Ministry Column

“They will know we are Christians by our Love”

The Bible teaches us others will know whether our Christianity is genuine by looking at whether our love for each is real.  “A new command I give you:  Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  (John 3:34-35)

Just as throwing a rock into a body of water changes the flow of the water; kind words have the ability to change a person.  The same is true of unkind or harsh words. 

How we react to people throughout our day has the power to lift someone up.  We all lead busy lives and at times become frustrated when are forced to slow down because the    cashier is slow, the waitress is grouchy, someone misses a deadline or doesn’t get you the information immediately, the cleaners doesn’t have your laundry ready by the designated time,  etc….  How do we react in these situations?  Even though frustrated, are we still kind?  An act of kindness could be what the person in our encounter needs that day at that time.  Your smile and patience really doesn’t take any extra time and you will likely never know how your act of kindness changed that person’s day.   

The following is a story I read several years ago.  The author is unknown.  It doesn’t matter if the story is fact or fiction.  It is the meaning of the story which is important.  

During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz.  I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?” Surely this was some kind of joke.  I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark haired and in her 50s but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. “Absolutely“, said the professor.  “In your careers you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care even if all you do is smile and say hello.”  

As we begin 2019 I challenge all of us to be a living testimony of God’s love and kindness.  May those we come into contact with, “Know we are Christians by our love.”

We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we'll guard each one's dignity and save each one's pride
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love

Gwen Hasling is the Regional Director in Acadiana. 
She has been with Volunteers of America since 1990 and a minister since 2005.