The Winsomeness Of Holiness
- Wednesday, June 11, 2003
A Jewish couple were arguing over the name to give their firstborn. They finally asked the rabbi to come and intercede.
"What is the problem?" the rabbi asked.
The wife spoke first. "He wants to name the boy after his father, and I want to name the boy after my father."
"What is your father's name?" he asked the man.
"And what is your father's name?" he asked the woman.
The rabbi was stunned. "So, what is the problem?"
It was the wife who spoke again. "His father was a horse thief, and mine was a righteous man. How can I know my son is named after my father and not his?"
The rabbi thought and then replied, "Call the boy Joseph. Then see if he is a horse thief or a righteous man. You will know which father's name he wears." To call yourself a child of God is one thing. To be called a child of God by those who watch your life is another thing altogether.
Saint Francis of Assisi once invited a young monk to accompany him to town to preach. The novice was honored at the opportunity. The two set out for the city, then walked up and down the main street, then several side streets. They chatted with peddlers and greeted the citizens.
After some time they returned by another route to the abbey. The younger man reminded Francis of his original intent. "You have forgotten, Father, that we went to town to preach."
"My son," he replied, "we have preached. We have been seen by many. Our behavior was closely watched. Our attitudes were closely measured. Our words have been overheard. It was by thus that we preached our morning sermon."
John was a voice for Christ with more than his voice. His life matched his words. When a person's ways and words are the same, the fusion is explosive. But when a person says one thing and lives another, the result is destructive. People will know we are Christians, not because we bear the name, but because we live the life.
It's the life that earns the name, not the name that creates the life.
Excerpt from Gentle Thunder. Click HERE to order Gentle Thunder.
Copyright © 1995 Max Lucado
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