Some of us are quick to find fault with our fellow believers. In the name of "encouraging" or "exhorting," we point out the sins and shortcomings of our brothers and sisters in Christ without seeing our own failures or guilt (Lk. 6:37-42).
Like most people who cook, I have a favorite recipe. Mine is for a scrumptious banana cake. Handed down from my mother, it's a no-fail recipe—that is, if you follow the directions exactly. I've shared it with friends, and most of them have had good results. One or two, however, said the recipe was no good. Later I discovered they had omitted some ingredients and substituted others.
Few of us have ever met anyone as wild and violent as the man Jesus encountered in Gadara (Lk. 8:26-39). He was obviously under the control of a demonic power that had ripped him from society and had made him a violent, screaming maniac. Jesus delivered him from Satan's control, however, and returned him to society, sane and respectable.
My 17-year-old daughter Julie and a co-worker at a department store were meeting for lunch. He had some questions about life, and Julie was glad to talk to him about her faith. As they sat down with their tacos, Julie bowed her head to thank the Lord for her food. When she looked up, her friend said, "I didn't pray. Will God kill me for that?"
There's a story about a man who was slowly losing his memory. After an examination, the doctor said that an operation on his brain might reverse his condition and restore his memory. However, the surgery would be so delicate that a nerve might be severed, causing total blindness.
When friends of ours considered having an orphan from another country come to live with their family, they prayerfully faced their feelings about many issues. To bring the child into the US, they would have to adopt her, giving her the same rights and status as their own children. She would become one of their heirs.
Some time ago, I read about an American named Arthur Reed, who was 123 years old. The facts about Arthur are astounding. He married for the third time when he was 92, took 5-mile walks when he was 100, and rode a bicycle until he was 110. He worked until he was 116. When he was asked the secret of his long life, he replied, "They made me of good dirt."
Leadership is a God-given privilege. There is no greater satisfaction than what comes from unselfishly seeking the physical and spiritual welfare of those entrusted to our care or supervision.