Thursday, April 2, 2009

What the world sees?

I know a man, most people would consider him a good man. For now lets call him Del, I don’t think I know anyone named Del so no one I know “should” take offence thinking I am talking about them. To be extra safe lets just assume that when I mention Del that I am talking about someone you know but I really don’t.

Ok so Del is a good man in the eyes of most people. Del graduated from some good schools and college, like you might suspect of most well educated people. He speaks clearly and uses good English. Because he is well educated, self confident and recognizes the impact of words Del is seldom prone to profanity. In fact in the years I have known him I would be hard pressed to recall hearing him use a slightly profane word let alone the stronger versions.

Del has a strong social conscience, he cares about his fellow man. He gives substantial sums of money to good causes and also volunteers his time for social causes. When called he happily submits to jury duty and he votes in all elections.

Del is married and has raised a couple seemingly well adjusted kids who both graduated from college before starting their own Ozzie and Harriet families.

Del and his wife own a nice home and two late model cars, both hybrids, keeps the lawn cut and remembers to put out the recycling.

Del was raised in the church and never misses an Easter Sunday or Christmas service.

Now let me introduce George, I actually know a couple Georges so this will be a composite person.

George is married with four kids. He didn’t have the privilege of a “good” education but he has worked hard at learning all he could. George works in the construction business. Its hard honest work, it’s also an environment well seasoned with colorful speech. George has worked hard to not sink to the level of speech that surrounds him but the force of gravity has had its effect. Consequently, every now and then less then pure words have flowed in George’s conversation.

George cares about his fellow man but lives on a tight budget. He gives what he can when he can but he does so anomalously. He faithfully contributes to support his Church. Because of his demanding work schedule George doesn’t have much time to give and honestly isn’t aware that he could be of use in any social programs. He does however teach Sunday school and freely gives of his time to church functions.

George would be hard pressed to pay his monthly bills if he had to spend a week in Jury duty. He thinks most people who run for office are on the take or just looking out for themselves so he isn’t politically active but he does vote in major elections.

George, his wife and four kids live in a small home with a small yard. George drives a pickup, because that’s what construction guys do and his wife’s car is in need of replacement.

George and his family are devoted members of a full gospel nondenominational church. Because they are committed to the church they seldom get involved in community events preferring to spend their free time with their church family.

On the one hand we have Del, a well respected well spoken successful, community involved, prosperous man.

On the other hand we have George, a not too well known, sometimes misspoken, just getting buy, seemingly anti social man.

Both love their families, both try to be good men. One knows and loves the Lord, one works hard at being a pillar of the community.

Jesus cautioned us,

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5: 13-16 NIV
At the end of the day does the “world” see a difference between the church and the “good people” ? If they do see a difference is it a positive one?
More importantly, when people see me, and you, do they see Jesus? Or do they merely see “religious” people?