Monday, May 7, 2012

Precious and honored in God's sight - Reflections on Isaiah 43:4 with a story and an observation

SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 43:4 (NIV) You are precious and honored in my sight, and… I love you. STORY as told by J. Allan Petersen: Newspaper columnist and minister George Crane tells of a wife who came into his office full of hatred toward her husband. "I do not only want to get rid of him, I want to get even. Before I divorce him, I want to hurt him as much as he has me." Dr. Crane suggested an ingenious plan "Go home and act as if you really love your husband. Tell him how much he means to you. Praise him for every decent trait. Go out of your way to be as kind, considerate, and generous as possible. Spare no efforts to please him, to enjoy him. Make him believe you love him. After you've convinced him of your undying love and that you cannot live without him, then drop the bomb. Tell him that your're getting a divorce. That will really hurt him." With revenge in her eyes, she smiled and exclaimed, "Beautiful, beautiful. Will he ever be surprised!" And she did it with enthusiasm. Acting "as if." For two months she showed love, kindness, listening, giving, reinforcing, sharing. When she didn't return, Crane called. "Are you ready now to go through with the divorce?" "Divorce?" she exclaimed. "Never! I discovered I really do love him." Her actions had changed her feelings. Motion resulted in emotion. The ability to love is established not so much by fervent promise as often repeated deeds. OBSERVATION: The above story also reminds me of a District Superintendent in the Methodist Church who told some disgruntled members of a particular church that wanted to get rid of their preacher to go back and treat the preacher as if he was the most wonderful, God-centered, caring pastor that they ever had … and that he was the greatest communicator of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The members took up the challenge and the result was that that pastor stayed with that church for over 25 years. It is amazing what happens in the hearts and heads of people when they begin to treat others as precious and honored. Throughout scripture God communicates to us just how precious and important we are in His sight. It is a message of love – continuous, sacrificial, forgiving love. Experiment: Why don’t each of us find that one individual with which we have the biggest problem and start treating them as if they are the most important person in the world. Let us go out of our way to shower them with praise. Let’s honor them as a gift from God. Let’s do it for just 30 days and sit back to see what God does with the individual. O.K.? O.K.! PRAYER: Help us Lord, to be instruments of your love, channels of praise, conduits of honor and help us to choose the most difficult person in our life to honor with Divine affection. May they become precious in our sight. In the name of Christ. Amen.

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