25th January 2013

Be Extraordinary

“And if you speak only to your friends, have you done anything that is out of the ordinary?”
Matthew 5:47 (GNT)

God calls ordinary people like you and me to be extraordinary in Christ.

A recent research project done by the UK’s Nottingham University suggests that Christians favour Christians over non-Christians. When faced with an option, most people of faith are nicer to fellow believers than they are to those of a different or of no faith. So, if we prefer those who are like us, what kind of message does that send out? It makes us no different in behaviour from anyone else.

Preachers and writers often quote the context of the biblical passage above in order to stress that we should be impartial because God is impartial. After all, God “makes his sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil” (Matthew 5:45). Another way of looking at it is that we should seek to bless everyone no matter what our relationship is with the person involved. Just like God gives to all the blessings of sun or rain, so our approach should be.

There is a TV dancing competition that I watch sometimes. Always with my wife, I hasten to add. In it the compere invariably says to more than one couple of contestants that they are “his favourites”. The couple chosen may vary from week to week, but it makes them feel special. Perhaps we should make everyone feel special, whether or not we know him or her, whether or not he or she is family or within our circle of friends. Let all whom we meet feel as if they are among our “favourites”.

Our behaviour towards others should be exceptional, meaning something that stands out from the crowd, a kindness that is noticeable. Not that we are trying to draw attention to ourselves, but that what Jesus has done for us and in us makes others stand up and take note.

Let yourself be out of the ordinary. Treat everyone, Christian or not, as special.  Go against the trend.

Be extraordinary.

Help me, Father, to make everyone I meet feel special. In Jesus, name.

Study by James Henderson

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