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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pursuing Greatness

I was waiting for the chance and I got it.

A couple of months ago I was at an event where I was working alongside a young man of high school age. To be honest, he was a little rude, regularly commenting on the people around us in unflattering ways. I listened, but didn't say much. I asked about his life and learned some interesting things about him. He didn't ask about me and I didn't volunteer much. For people who don't know I am a Pastor, I'm fine with that because it almost always changes the conversation - like ends it! But there were some things I wanted to say to this young man. And I got the chance.

I was at another event and had the chance to work alongside him again and he began to engage in comments that were unkind. Finally I asked him, "Why are you saying that? It isn't of any value?" He responded that, as long as the person he was talking about didn't hear it, what did it matter? "Because it is unkind.", I said. Then I asked, "What do you think Jesus would think about what you are saying?" (I knew he had a connection with a local church so I thought he had some level of belief.) His response? "Jesus can think whatever he wants." I pushed back a little more and eventually there settled upon us a silence.

As I have thought more about that interaction, I thought of something I wish I had said. I wish I had said this: "You know, I am striving for greatness in my life. And one of the qualities of greatness is they make the people around them better. When you make rude or inappropriate comments about other people, you are not making them better and you are making yourself small. What do you strive for in your life?" Don't you find that you think of the most insightful things to say after the conversation is over?!

Oh well, maybe I'll get another chance. Maybe he will be thinking about that question I asked, "What does Jesus think?" I'm going to pray for that chance. 1 Peter 3:14-17


1 comment:

ET said...

3 Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.
4 Then you will find favor with both God and people,and you will earn a good reputation.

Thanks for reminding us that we're called to make loyalty and kindness a part of who we are. Not just an intention, but an integral part of the whole. The result is a great relationship with God and others.