A Net of Joy

When I was a young Christian, I worked in the same medical office with Jody. She and I had alot in common, we were close in age and both Christian. Jody was more mature in her faith and because we lost touch, will never know what an indelible mark she left on my life. During the couple of years I worked along side her, I was in awe of her caring ways and giving spirit. When it was time to go on a lunch run, she was always first to offer to drive. During my first pregnancy, she was the one who put together my baby shower. I saw her offer rides home to elderly patients on more than one occassion, and noticed her silently bow her head in prayer before each meal. Never once did I hear Jody utter an unkind word about another person, even when it was obvious someone had done her wrong. I experienced firsthand through her, Christ’s joy.

I wonder if I’ve been anyone’s “Jody”. I want my life to be a witness to the joy of Christ. Unfortunately, many times my actions reflect something far from joyous. I’ve used my words to tear down instead of build up, chosen grumbling in place of praise. When people look at me, what do they really see? Stephen Neill of The Christian Character wrote the following:

“The ordinary group of worshipping Christians, as the preacher sees them from the pulpit, does not look like a collection of very joyful people, in fact, they look on the whole rather sad, tired, depressed people. It is certain that such people will never win the world for Christ… It is no use trying to pretend: we may speak of joy and preach about it: but, unless we really have the joy of Christ in our hearts and manifest it, our words will carry no conviction to our hearers.”

Wow! I need to be constantly aware of how my actions could impact lost people. People who are crying out for joy and peace, which can only be found in Christ Jesus. I’ve thought about my life as a Christian and what Christ like attributes I exhibit. If someone was trying to prosecute me in court of being a Christian, what proof would they have to convict me?

Mother Teresa is quoted as saying, “Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.†I want to toss my net and draw people to Jesus. I want people to be able to say, “oh yeah, yeah, I know she’s a Christian because…”.

6 Responses to A Net of Joy
  1. Laura
    December 28, 2006 | 10:10 am

    This reminds me of one of my favorite hymns:

    “And they will know that we are Christians by our love, by our love… ”

    I try to be concious in every action that others are watching and learning… I want them to know that I am a Christian. I, too, hope that I am doing just that.

    I’m glad that you are here Paula. 🙂

  2. Heather
    December 28, 2006 | 12:58 pm

    Very good post Paula!
    My personal witness is something I hold tightly too.. although sometimes I fail miserably, as we all do.

    I too am glad you are here!


  3. Susanne
    December 28, 2006 | 1:05 pm

    What an excellent post, Paula! If we could just keep that in the front of our mindset, ‘Are we being anyone’s Jody?’ , I’m sure it would help me to act instead of react in a lot of situations.

  4. Becky
    December 28, 2006 | 4:27 pm

    What a great post that I’m sure most of us can identify with. I am sure that I do not always look like a Christian on the outside and boy you really got me thinking. And hoping to also be someones “Jody”. “If someone was trying to prosecute me in court of being a Christian, what proof would they have to convict me?” I think I need to ask myself this every single day! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Susan (5 Minutes for Mom)
    December 28, 2006 | 4:33 pm

    Wow! What a powerful post. I am afraid I haven’t been a ‘Jody’ very often in my life. I need to seriously work on this… thank you!!!

  6. Brandi
    January 9, 2007 | 2:24 pm

    I am glad to have read your post today. It was a huge reminder of how I need to be. I know that most people wouldn’t know that I was a Christian. I would like them to know that because most people of Christ are kinder and have less mean, hateful words come out of their mouths. I would like to be more like that. I need to remember what you wrote every day! Despite what other people do to me or my loved ones.

    Thanks again! Have a great day!