Friday, November 19, 2021

A Little Class Goes A Long Way

Luke 24:27-30, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.

I love this beautiful text passage from Luke. Jesus and the disciples had drawn nigh to their destination. Jesus made (pretended) that He need to keep going. The disciples asked Him to please stay. The Lord wanted to make sure that they really wanted Him to stay, and that they weren't just being polite. That was so classy what Jesus did, thinking about the feelings of others instead of selfishly only thinking about Himself. I love our ethical Savior!

Here's a personal story that I remember about me. When I lived in the uphill village of Sinajana on the quaint Pacific island of Guam, I rented an apartment from a man and his wife for 5 years. They were good to me all during that time. One day my bathroom sink clogged up and the water wouldn't go down anymore. So I called my landlord and kindly asked him if he could take a look at it. He came with a plumber to fix the sink. I spoke with my landlord for a few minutes as the plumber worked aside us. I then stepped a few feet away to take care of some things. As I was away, I softly heard my landlord whisper to the plumber, “Just set it there on the sink.” The two men said their greeting to me and then left, letting me know that the sink worked fine now. After they left my home, I noticed a big clump of my hair sitting on the sink. I immediately understood that my hair had accumulated and clogged the drain. I was grateful to how classy my landlord was. To prevent embarrassing me, my landlord just gently whispered for the plumber to quietly leave the hair on the sink. That is how you should treat people!

When I first began visiting Campus Church at Pensacola Christian College (PCC) in July of 2021. Their senior pastor is Jeff Redlin. I was brokenhearted, after being divorced for 15 years. I was sincerely hoping that Pastor Redlin would help me get my broken life back together. So I entrusted him with the pain of my loss and sorrow for being divorced. I expressed my concerns if I were welcome or not at Campus Church, after hearing a longtime PCC staff member inform me that many people either leave or avoid PCC who are divorced, knowing that the PCC camp has disdain for divorce and refuses to sanction remarriage.

It would have been a classy thing if after hearing my hurting soul, Jeff Redlin has told me that God still loves me, and I am very welcome at Campus Church, even though the church does not believe in remarriage after divorce. It would have been classy if Pastor Redlin has prayed with me, and expressed sympathy for my loss and pain all these many 15 years of loneliness. But he did none of that. Instead, Redlin coldly told me in front of his pretty wife that he doesn't marry divorced people. I was cut to the heart, as that foolish little man cast my feelings to the dirt and stepped on my heart. I lost respect for Pastor Jeff Redlin from that time moving forward. The guy has no class!!!

Our dear Savior had much class. Jesus cared about not hurting the feelings of others. Jesus didn't just decide to stay for the night at the disciple's home. In truth, He wanted to stay to eat and stay for the night, but He was too classy to ask. So He pretended (made) as though He was leaving, and when they invited Him to stay, He joyously accepted. That is class.

My father was a Skid Row minister. He attended an ordination meeting one time for a new young preacher. A dozen or so different ministers attended and friends. The man who headed the ordination meeting asked all the men around the table to stand and give a brief description of their ministry. My father knew one of the men at the table, who had no ministry, he just attended different churches. So my father did something very classy. When it was my father's turn to stand up and testify, which was before the other man (who had no ministry), my Dad said that the other man was his assistant at the Mission and helped him regularly (and that was the truth). My father saved his friend from any potential embarrassment. That is classy! That is what a true friend does, thinking about others.

Here's another story. My father had invited me and some friends from Bible college to go fishing at Deep Lake in Lake Villa , Illinois. The lake was over 60 feet deep in the middle, hence the name “Deep Lake.” My father was driving in front. I was driving in my own car behind him with my family. And then my friends from Bible college were driving behind me. My father pulled over eventually alongside the road. I asked, “Why did you pull over?” My Dad said, “Your buddy broke down back there!” I felt convicted. My father not only watched my car, but watched for my friends behind me. I hadn't been paying attention, but my Dad was. I have always been so impressed by the classy thing my father did that summer day. Watching out for others is a classy thing to do. I blew it that day, but my Dad cared and paid attention.

I could give you hundreds of examples of classy things that people have done, and likewise hundreds of not so classy things. I don't know about you dear reader, but I want to be more like Jesus, Who paid attention to the little details that we so often miss. It all boils down to THINKING. I heard Pastor Jack Hyles say that, “Love is thinking!” Dr. Hyles is so right. In other words, when you love others you think about their needs, their feelings and their soul's condition. When you love somebody you look beyond their faults and see their need.

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