January 6, 2020

Friday morning, as I stood in the bathroom brushing my teeth and getting ready for the new day, I noticed Shannon was staring at me. I was not surprised by her staring at me because I stare at me all the time. It only made sense. Then she said, “I think you need to get a haircut because you are beginning to look like a televangelist.” I did not see that coming.

And while our church does live broadcasts of the worship service on the internet, radio broadcasts of the sermon on a local radio station, and has a catalog of sermons to download on our church webpage, I am no televangelist.

In fact, I have always imagined that there is a very special place of punishment for those who use the airwaves to take advantage of others in the name of God. They do a great deal of harm to the mission of those dedicated Christians who work day in and day out to help others understand Jesus is real.

I also don’t believe that God intends those who preach his message to get fabulously wealthy off the offerings that people make to God.

So Shannon saying I was beginning to look like a televangelist was not an affirming, positive comment.

My initial response was to insult her right back. The problem was that though Shannon isn’t perfect, she’s perfect for me. And as frustrating as it was, I couldn’t think of comeback. The good news was that it gave me enough time to resist my inner child that wanted to say something mean and petty and remember what the bible teaches about how we are to treat others.

In teaching the Christians in Ephesus how to relate to one another, Paul said, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

While your spouse may not say you are beginning to look like one of the most despicable people on the planet, today someone will say something that in one way or another offends you. Don’t worry about it and don’t respond the way I wanted to. You are better than that and God expects more from you.

Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, when I am easily offended, give me patience, peace, and set a guard over my mouth. Help me represent what it is to truly be a follower of your Son. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

When someone insults you, don’t respond with anger. Don’t let others have that kind of power over you, because you are called to a higher purpose.

Also, just for the record, I got a haircut on Friday so I don’t look like a televangelist. But I have noticed that now, whenever Shannon stares at me, I am not sure she is admiring my extraordinarily good looks. This is a problem.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins