I got to a point where I was almost ready to share a recent example of how being a Christian has changed me on the inside when the Flowers scandal erupted. It so disappointing and damaging to the church when people in powerful positions hit the headlines with their personal trash and weaknesses. Immediate judgement is cast upon the church (and Christians), as a whole, through the actions of that one person. It’s the same with any group. For example, how quick we can all be to judge homeless people as being drug users or alcoholics who, as I’ve often heard it muttered, ‘bring it on themselves’, and simply because we have seen examples of this being demonstrated by one or two homeless people. Tarred with the same brush is the cliché I’m looking for. Unfortunately, it is rare for any positive acts by Methodist Ministers, or homeless persons, to hit the headlines – because it doesn’t sell newspapers.
If, as a people, we could read newspapers that tell of good news and glorify it in the same way as bad, we would counteract the forces of evil at work in the world to create a more positive balance; this could go a long way to knocking the devil off all our shoulders before he can get a foothold.
Oh, the example I was going to share about how being a Christian has changed me on the inside?
I found a purse outside a charity shop a couple of weeks ago. It had 6 x £1 coins and £95 in notes inside. My gut reaction was one of excitement about finding some money. A split second later I counteracted that response by asking the question, ‘what would Jesus do?’
There was a piece of paper tucked inside the purse with a bus pass (so it was a pensioner) with a phone number on it. I rang the number – as it had the same name on it as the bus pass – to say I was on my way to hand the purse in to the local Police station.
The joy on the elderly couples’ faces when I walked into the station lit up the room. The lady whose purse it was gave me £10 because she was so thankful to get it back. It wasn’t necessary and I tried to return it to her, unsuccessfully. The warm glow in my heart at having turned the money in set me up for the rest of the day. Honesty really does have its own reward, though I have to say that I did enjoy spending the unexpected £10 windfall.
I’m using this incident as a small example of how I know that being a Christian has changed me from the inside because there would have been a time when I may have kept that money, especially if I’d been as skint as I was that day, but just by thinking about what Jesus would do, and knowing the answer in my heart, I couldn’t do anything else but hand it in.
I’m telling you this good news because it probably won’t hit the headlines: Jesus really has made all the difference in my life.