Bad Breath

“Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing.” Philippians 2:14-16
 

I recently stood in conversation with someone and just about passed out!  It wasn’t the subject matter of our conversation that caused me to want to faint, but rather the horrible halitosis, aka bad breath, that had me wanting to run…to the drugstore to buy them a gift of Listerine!  I can deal with just about anything, but standing face to face with what smells like a sewer is not one of them.  I’m honestly not trying to be mean, but let’s face it…we’ve all been there.  You are trying to stay engaged in conversation, while forcing your eyes not to water from the stench, or from just having a Simon Cowell moment where you exclaim, “I’m sorry, but that was horrid…simply horrid!” I think all things sound more pleasant with a British accent, don’t you?

Today, all before the sun shone, I read nasty things on social media.  Unkind words, haughtiness, hate-filled words took over my News feed, and I looked at my list of “friends” and most would say they are a Christ-follower.  I caution myself as I write this to not cross the line of sounding like them, so I’ll let the Scripture do the talking (see above).  We are commissioned, as a Christ-follower, to go out and be fragrant, and not a stench, to the world.  This morning a lot of Christ-followers are feeling like their balloon has been burst.  I’m not delusional enough to think it’s just those Christ-followers whose candidate lost last night, but I believe that even some, whose candidate won, felt not so trusting…maybe a little hopeless…as they cast their vote, so this post is not directed to any particular party to which a Christ-follower may identify. This post is simply to serve as an encouragement that just like yesterday, Christ-follower, we GET TO BE JESUS to the world that is watching us today. They watch us everyday – all 365 days – to see how we react to things not going exactly our way.  May the words that come out of our mouth be the same cheerful words we offer when we offer hope to a world that needs Jesus.  So many keep making the point that “God is still on His throne.”  Honestly, that peeves me, speaking from a completely “my opinion” point of view.  He was on His throne yesterday, too.  He is just asking us to LIVE like we believe He’s on His throne everyday…not just when we feel like things are looking a little desperate.  It has always fallen into our hands, Christ-follower.  When we are living like Him and loving like Him every. single. day of our lives, we don’t have to remind anybody that He is still on His throne.  “They will know we are Christians by our love” are the words of a popular Christian song, and by our love – the aroma-filled, sweet grace-filled love – they will know.  They will know.  Today you have an opportunity to represent.  My Facebook status this morning was this simple encouragement:

To those who spoke as a Christ-follower yesterday, don’t speak as a hypocrite today.#aworldiswatching #guardyourtongue

Paul encourages the Philippians in the passage above to “Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns.” You have the gift of light to offer today.  Make sure your offering doesn’t leave your audience running to find you a bottle of Listerine!

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