“We had a guest speaker at church on Sunday,” Stan commented one morning. “He had an interesting story to tell about his faith walk that offered a lot of encouragement to many people.”
“What kind of encouragement to what kind of people?” I asked.
“Anyone and everyone who has ever felt that they are being looked down upon for their beliefs and what they do in response to what they believe.”
“Looked down upon by who?” I asked. “Or is it ‘whom’?” I said with a smile.
Ignoring my attempt at a joke, Stan said, “That’s was the exact point of this fellow’s message. He said that when he first came to faith, started talking about his faith, and began to live out what he believed, there were a lot of people in his life who looked down on him.”
“Unbelievers who thought he had gone a little goofy?” I asked.
“Not only unbelievers, but apparently there were believers who looked down on this fellow because they didn’t think he was qualified to say anything to them about God.”
“Oh,” I replied. “That kind of looking down can be pretty hard to take. It’s no fun to be looked down upon by others, regardless of who they are.”
“You’re right about that,” Stan said. “In fact, the apostle Paul wrote about that to his dear friend Timothy in a letter he also made available to me and to each one of us.”
“Timothy was being looked down upon?” I asked.
“Seems so,” Stan said. “Apparently Timothy was a pretty young guy who was not all that healthy. Some of the people looked down on him for those things, thinking he wasn’t old or well enough to lead them. The apostle Paul wrote encouraging words to him about that.”
“What kind of encouragement?” I asked.
“While Paul didn’t use the exact words,” Stan replied, “it seems to me that what Paul was saying is that Timothy was to focus on the only looking down that matters. And we are to do the same thing.”
“What same thing?”
“Focus on God’s looking down from above and saying, “Well done!”
Bible verses to consider:
Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example to those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:12.
These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you. Titus 2:15.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the people you bring into my life to help me draw ever closer to you. I confess that too often I may disregard some people because in my self-focus I don’t see how they could possibly help. Please forgive that foolishness and help me to be open to seeing that you can and will use anyone for your purposes; that it’s not up to me to disregard anyone you send into my life to help me to know you in a deeper way. Help me in following exactly as you intend. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you ever disregarded or looked down on someone God may have brought into your life because you thought that person wasn’t “qualified” to tell you anything? If so, what was that all about? Do you agree that God can and will use anyone for His purposes and we are to be open to that? Why or why not? If you sense you may need to change your attitude about listening to different people God may bring into your life, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?