“I was mesmerized as I watched his fingers…”
Some friends and I had the opportunity to witness a rare talent recently. The guy was a wonderful guitarist and could sing like nobody’s business. As the old saying goes, “If I had as much talent in my whole body as he has in his little finger, I’d be happy.”
I was mesmerized as I watched his fingers fly up and down the fret board. I marveled at the lyrics he could belt out flawlessly. I was thinking of all the people I knew, wishing they were there to witness this phenom.
Then it happened. He unnecessarily spewed out a few choice words. I have to admit it. That’s one of my biggest pet peeves. When someone is in a position of entertaining in public, they have no business grossing out the audience (at least to my way of thinking). Sweet music and f-bombs just don’t go together for me.
I stewed and fumed for a few minutes and silently felt like walking out. I soon calmed down, however, and began to remember who I am—and who this young musician probably is.
“It’s not my job to get all arrogant…”
In his first epistle to the church, John reminds us that we have an anointing as believers in Christ. That anointing is real, he says, and we should walk in that anointing. We have that anointing because we’ve come to know the truth. He reminds us that we are to remain in that truth and “in Him” (Christ).
It’s not my job to get all arrogant, prideful, and insulted. My job is to love. It’s not my job to judge, but to witness to the Way that has found me.
That is not to say there won’t be those occasions and situations from which I should extricate myself. Those occurrences, however, won’t (or shouldn’t) be based on my own sense of self-importance. I should do so because the Spirit of God led me to that action.
What I quickly came to realize is this. That young guitarist wasn’t the one who is called to follow the ways of Christ. He’s not the one of whom Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruit.” That one is me.
So I calmed down and began, once again, to enjoy his talent. I appreciated what God had given him in his life. And I appreciated those few hours I got to relax and enjoy his music.
He continued to be obnoxious from time to time, but I was reminded that I was very much like him once (not talent-wise, but mouth-wise). I was also reminded that someone loved me into the Kingdom. For all I know, the Lord is doing that for him right now. We’re all on a different timetable.
It doesn’t end there, either. I need to remind myself that I’m no better than he. Jesus scraped me off the proverbial pavement. I owe a debt of love. After all, Jesus loves those he’s created. I should too.