Having cable news on in the background today while I worked was probably a mistake.
While I tuned in to hear “news,” what I ended up getting for the most part was often angry, hate-filled punditry, about how the “other side” was wrong.
I must confess that I wondered how much of the animus and angst which I heard was genuine, or whether some at least sprang from a desire to get ratings. Easy to understand issues, which can be separated by the media into two opposing and angry sides, often do very well in the ratings. That translates into higher advertising revenues for the network and a longer and possibly more lucrative contract for the pundit.
But that got me thinking from an eternal perspective. With that in mind, I posted these questions on a couple of our Facebook pages-both Joy Junction’s and mine.
The words read, “If this was our last day on earth, what would they say about us the day after? What would our tombstone read? Hopefully it would say something more positive than the ones below.
Would we be known as a critic of the homeless, or a lover of the needy; a Jesus person or a critic of society? Are we known for what we’re for- or against? What defines us?”
I only got a few responses to my Facebook question, but they were good.
Paulina wrote she believes it is our actions that define us.
She said, “Words mean nothing without an action to back them up. I bring up God in every conversation I have with every person I meet every chance I get to meet folks. I share my homeless story, my never ending faith in knowing God had a purpose for me no matter where my journey has led me.”
Paulina said that she would even feed a hungry person if she hadn’t yet eaten. She continued, “ I will give up my coat, my socks and shoes, my prepaid phone, or anything else I could help with if it meant even one person could have a better day today than they did yesterday.”
Those are pretty powerful words-and actions. Paulina, disabled and a former guest of Joy Junction, said she still tells people about the blessings and love of God.
She continued, “My words were a promise I made years ago when I left JJ and said that I would pay it forward. I have tried to do that every day. In return God has blessed me in too many ways to count.”
Helen Ann said that doing the best we can is pleasing to God. She said doing the “Scriptural Works of Mercy” covers everything.
She continued, “Feed the hungry, cloth the naked, visit the sick, visit or pray for those who are in prison, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, and bury the dead. If we do this it shows action speaks louder than words, and Jesus will bless you and be very happy and pleased.”
Tosie said that doing good deeds with a happy heart is pleasing to God. She added, “If we get praise for our good deeds on earth we don’t get rewarded in heaven. It’s good if we do good that others on earth never know about. Then they will give the thanks only to God.”
So do you see how much wisdom we can get from just these three people? Here’s what I see them-together-as saying. “Despite what you have or how you’re feeling, help others and do so cheerfully and quietly. As a result people will give the glory to God.”
None of these three individuals are complained or blaming. They’re just going quietly about their daily business-making a difference. They’re lovers; not haters.
Which characteristic will most closely define you when it comes time for your epitaph or our obituary?.