Thursday, March 23, 2006

What did you expect?

"And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all." (Luke 6:19)

One of my colleagues replied to the praise of an enthusiastic student after the concert, "Well, what did you expect?" The audience comes to be entertained. They pay for greatness and have come to expect it.

The crowd goes to a sporting event hoping to watch a dramatic win. Hopefully they leave satisfied. The sick patient enters the ER desiring to be treated immediately. In every area of life we have come to expect certain things, behavior, services. What is expected of a Christian? And how are we recognized?

Have Christians become known for being too critical, intolerant, narrow-minded, and countless other negatives? Or are believers identified by their love? Jesus was known on that day by the virtue that went out of his very being. Multitudes sought to touch him. All were affected by his presence. Granted many had selfish motives for seeking him, but he healed them all.

This is not to suggest that we ought to embrace anything and everything in the name of love. The focus is on that which emanates from Christ. Virtue comes from him, life, wisdom, kindness, compassion, and strength. He did not try to be all of these. He is all of these. They are traits which characterize him.

Since Christ resides in the believer, his nature is in us and has the capability of expressing itself quite visibly to others. We can wear the negatives of our own self-absorption, or we can demonstrate the virtue of Christ that we have been given. When others see us, do they see negatives, our trying to be good, or do they witness the powerful virtue of Christ himself?


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