Aiming And Not Claiming

Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another” – Ephesians 4:2 (GNT)

This past Sunday I was watching another sermon from Dr. James Merritt on TV. Have you seen Dr. Merritt preach by the way ? If not, try to catch him one Sunday on your Christian channel on cable or satellite. He’s terrific.

Anyway, the title of the sermon was called “Wholly Holy”. During the program, he discussed the difference between those who aim to be Christians, and those who claim to be. And one example really struck me, and I found it both humorous and thought-provoking at the same time.

Dr. Merritt mentioned that he had seen a story in the paper about a man who was being
tailgated on the way to work. The woman behind him was getting more and more impatient, as she was about to be late for work, and she tried unsuccessfully to pass the man’s car. As the man approached a traffic light, the light began to turn yellow. But instead of accelerating through, the man slowed down and stopped at the light. Well, for this woman, that was the last straw. She nearly slammed into the man’s car, began to curse and make obscene gestures, and was hysterical as she was now stuck at this red light.

After a few moments, there was a tap on her driver’s side window. A police officer asked her to step out of the car with her hands up. She was handcuffed, put in the police cruiser and brought to the police station where she was fingerprinted and put in a cell for two hours. Finally, another officer comes to her cell and releases her, and brings her to the desk to get her belongings. At the desk, she sees the arresting officer.

“Why did you arrest me ?” she asks him.

“Ma’am, I am so sorry,” said the arresting officer.

“When I first saw you, you were cursing, honking your horn, and acting hysterical.

But then I saw the ‘What Would Jesus Do ?’ bumper sticker.

And the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder.

And the cross hanging from your mirror.

And a Christian fish chrome emblem on your trunk….

And I just assumed you’d stolen the car !


Boy, did this example hit home. My work commute can be quite an adventure on some days. I live about 25 miles from the office, yet it can take as long as 1-1/2 hours to get there. And sometimes I’ll find myself getting really frustrated. When all you see is brake lights on your drive in, it can get to you. But I have to remember to be more patient. School will be starting in another week or two around here, and those roads are going to start filling up again.

Dr. Merritt’s example was a good one. And as I get stronger in my faith and continue on in my journey, I pray that God looks on me as someone aiming (and not just claiming) to be a Christian in everything I do.


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