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22 December 2008

When Lipstick Attacks

Several years ago I went to a restaurant (one that's now out of business, for some reason) with a few friends. I'd heard good things about it. I ordered my food, with coffee to drink. The guy next to me ordered chicken.

My coffee was delivered with lipstick stains on the cup and when my friend cut into his chicken, we noted that it was cooked somewhere around medium.

We probably happened to go on a really bad day, and the odds that the cook messed up on the same day as the dishwasher were likely very high against. However, I never went back to that restaurant.

"Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8, NLT) You know, the one that the devil is seeking to devour may be you, but it very well may be the person next to you (or both of you, as a "twofer"). The one you come in contact with on that freakish, exceptionally bad day. You know, the one when your hair didn't do right that morning, you and your spouse got into it over bills, the toilet was stopped up and flooded the bathroom, you were late for work...

And then you wind up delivering Jesus Christ to your neighbor in a lipstick-stained coffee cup.

I'm not suggesting that we put on a false face for someone on a bad day. It's not wrong to let people know that Christ-followers have bad days. But it's important that we go out and face the day actually trusting that God will bring good out of the situations we see as entirely negative. Often we'll get only one chance to impact another person's life for the sake of Christ. We should never take on the day failing to live what we believe.


Anonymous said...

Great analogy about the coffee cup!

When we're miserable, we want everyone to be miserable along with us (misery loves company); so we get to ranting and raving, complaining and so on... because we're having a bad hair day -

Oh, by the way I'm a Christian - wouldn't you like to be one too?

Years ago I met Rick Maddox; Rick was a very dedicated Christian man; If there was a need in the church, Rick was there to help out; if there was someone struggling finacially, Rick was there to help; if someone just needed someone to talk to; Rick was there. Rick always had a smile on his face and a kind word to say.

It floored me when I found out what his home life was like.

Rick became a Christian about a year before I met him - his wife did not - his wife was infuriated with his decision that she made his life at home a living hell - she would curse him in public, leave for weeks at a time with out any notice, completely disowned their children and would have nothing to do with them, and more...

I never once heard any negative reply about her, he remained faithful and loving to her in spite of her actions. (I don't think I could have done the same)

This make me wonder why I complain about the trivial.


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