FROM THE DESK OF CHARLES ANDERSON We all know this, I think, but Jesus Christ was anything but a snob. He never walked around with His nose in the air, reminding everyone that He was somebody special. He, of all people, could have. He treated Photina (the Samaritan woman at the well) as kindly as He treated noble Nicodemus. He was as gracious to a beggar and a prostitute as he was to Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue. Is that really a surprise? Paul said this of Jesus: “…he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant,” and, “…he humbled himself…” (Philippians 2:7-8). Christ turned conventional wisdom on its head. The world says, “Treat people like they treat you.” Our Lord—repeated by James in our text—challenged us to live with an entirely different attitude. An article from Johns Hopkins University Press highlighted the writing of Hesiod, a poet who lived 700 years before Christ, in which he wrote these words: “Love those who love you and help those who help you. Give to those who give to you and never to those who do not.” And the world would say amen to that! Living by that standard would be easy. It comes naturally to us. But Jesus preached and practiced a different message—a holy perspective—when He said, “Do unto others as you would like for them to do to you, even if they don’t return the favor” (Matthew 7:12, AMP). Don’t be a snob. Instead, be like Jesus.
Cheer Up – Joe Barnett “A happy heart makes the face cheerful.” (Proverbs 15:13) Joseph Hubisz and his wife decided that they would need to take a vacation when the coronavirus pandemic ended. Joseph taped a world map to the refrigerator, handed his wife a magnetic dart, and said, “Wherever it lands is our vacation spot.” She tossed it. Joseph said, “Seems we’ll be spending two weeks behind the fridge.” We all need a stout dose of Solomon’s reflection: “A happy heart makes the face cheerful” (Proverbs 15:13); “The cheerful heart has a continual feast” (Proverbs 15:15); “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). Clerics James Gray and William Houghton were praying together. Dr. Gray was up in years but wanted his final years to be exemplary. He ended his prayer, saying, “Lord, keep me cheerful. Keep me from becoming a cranky old man!” Amen to that. “Look happy, act happy, be happy.”