Appendix, Anyone?

I’ve often heard the phrase “Be the hands and feet of Jesus.”  It’s not a verse at all.  It’s not in the bible.  It likely stems from 1 Corinthians 12:27, “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” (KJV)

The phrase gets me thinking, though.  Personally, it reminds me of Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (KJV)  I need to go out there and tell the people about Jesus.  How much He loves them.  How God sent his son to die for our sins.  Frankly, for me, it’s hard.  I am a 100% pure-bred bundle of introvertedness.  For that, I don’t feel like His hands and feet.  Often, I feel like His appendix or tonsils.  You don’t use those things.  You don’t need them.  They even cause problems and have to be removed more times than not.  I don’t feel like I’m serving a purpose for His kingdom.  I’m not following his instructions.  (Sigh…and sip of coffee)

It’s not in my character to start up a conversation with someone.  It’s awkward for me.  Like, “Hey, I notice you are buying a 12-pack.  Did you know Jesus loves you just the way your are…sober?”  Yeah, see.  It’s awkward for me.

I’ve thought hard about possible ways I can successfully live 1 Corinthians 12:27 and do Mark 16:15, being the personality that I am.  If you are an introvert, or an appendix, maybe you can run with some of these ideas, too:

  • Don’t deny Him.  When you are asked a direct question where you can glorify God, do it!
    • “JP, do you have that report ready?”
    • Yes, I prayed over it and feel it’s ready.  Here you go.  Have a blessed day.”

You didn’t have to start the conversation.  You were asked a question.  Arrange your answer so that God is intertwined in it.  Leave no doubt that He lives in you and make them want that!

  • Make good choices.  Well, that seems simple.  It’s actually not that easy.  We are purposefully tempted.  Satan knows our buttons to push.  Remember, you never know who is watching.  You can be a witness with your actions.
  • Wear Jesus.  In other words, be like a car.  I can tell a lot from the owner of a car based on their bumper stickers. Instead of ‘Baby on Board’ you got ‘Jesus on Board’. Christian t-shirts are out there and affordable.  (No talking required.  Yay.)
  • Use your spiritual gifts.  I’ve taken the spiritual gifts test many times (because, you know, I often feel like the appendix).  I always score high in service and encouraging others. These gifts are gifted to you once you are saved.  You are given them for a reason.  What better way to follow His instructions than with gifts he hand-picked just for you!

Those are just a few ideas to help out when we are feeling useless and without purpose.  You have a purpose!  I have a purpose! We have instructions to follow.  No appendectomy required.

Free Online Spiritual Gifts Test

JP/Grace and Pink

 

 

 

Words

I can remember hearing this when I was little. All the kids were chanting it on the playground.  I’m sure you have heard it before.  It goes like this, “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.”  LIE!

Our words can make a world of difference to someone.  They can lift someone up or break someone down.  I know I am guilty of saying things that I regret.  Unfortunately, we can’t take our words back.  Once they fall out of our mouth they are engraved in someone else’s reality forever.  I certainly wish I could take some back.

Our words are one of the best tools to boost someone’s self-esteem, encourage, motivate, praise, compliment, and show our love with.  On the flip side, our words can literally deflate someone’s esteem, discourage, insult, and transmit hatred.

I teach school.  Sometimes thoughts come to my mind.  Like, the time I tied a kid’s shoe and then asked what the wet stuff on the string was…or the times I spend a whole 5 minutes explaining what to do and then am asked, “What are we supposed to do?”  Ah, precious children.  During these times that certain thoughts or words come to my mind I am able to control them from falling out of my mouth.  However, I think sometimes we don’t think long enough about what words are about to fall out and how they would be taken by another person.  Maybe the thoughts aren’t four letter words and we just open up the mouth and think it’s all going to come out fine…and it doesn’t.

When I am asked a question, I am trying to remain quiet…just for a few seconds…until I can gather a kind reply.  If it is taking me too long to think of something kind I will go ahead and give a generic reply such as, “Hmm…let me think a minute.”, “Oh, thanks for asking.  Can I get back with you on that shortly?”, “I was just on my way to the bathroom and I’ll come see you when I’m done.”  The latter is the best one because your can take a little time or a long time, ya know.  The Bible tells us in Proverbs 17:27-28 “The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. 28 Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”

I challenge you to join me in thinking twice before speaking.  Ask yourself, “Is this going to raise someone up or break someone down?”  Do they really need to know that my grandmother can cook better chili than what they brought to the work luncheon?  If you are like me, you’ve got to get things off your chest so perhaps we can try rephrasing the words.  Line them out in our head first.  Maybe saying, “Your chili is good.  It reminds me of the chili my grandmother used to make.”  Yeah, that’s less insulting and encourages your friend that they didn’t do bad.

A few more verses to reference regarding our words are:

Proverbs 12:18  “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

James 3: 1-12  “1Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Proverbs 15:4  “The soothing tongue is a tree of life,
but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.

Join me in my little challenge to give at least one compliment a day to a friend or a stranger!  I think we would all be better for it. Winner winner chicken dinner.

I think you are (3)

JP/Grace and Pink