“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” Matthew 10:34-39
“Salt is good; but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.” Mark 9:50
Our weekly Christian devotional
“Great color.” A girl to my left nods approvingly at the ruby nail polish in my palm.
“Thanks.” I smile back, surprised by the jovial stranger.
I hate to admit it, but in a city as icy as Chicago spontaneous friendly banter is about as rare as a Republican sighting.
My eyes catch the glossy headline of the latest gossip magazine and my attention quickly averts.
“So what do you think of the latest ‘Real Housewife?” The stranger speaks to me again.
“Well…I don’t think she’s real, that’s for sure!” We both erupt in giggles.
“My name is Trina.” Extending her hand, the sprite brunette plops into the pedicure chair next to mine.
“Just call me Jules.” I drop the magazine to grasp her outstretched hand.
The streetlights were glowing, the weather was horrible and the two of us were the only customers. I couldn’t ignore the sensation that something strange was in the air. Unlike me, Trina didn’t drop by the salon just to get her toes painted.
For a while, we chatted about the icy road conditions and our husbands; things that were fitting for people who barely knew each other.
After about fifteen minutes, it seemed as if invisible floodgates parted; and the subject matter shifted into murky waters…
Trina began sharing the recent stresses of her marriage. Her husband had survived a near-fatal car accident; her delicate face painfully twisted as she recalled the events…
“When Amir was rushed to the hospital, they didn’t think he would make it. Doctors quickly realized they had to amputate his left arm. But, that was the least of our worries; Amir’s life was hanging in the balance. His heart actually stopped while he was on the operating table…”
“What happened?” I heard a quieter version of my own voice ask.
“Amir said that he saw Jesus.” Trina rolled her misty eyes in disbelief.
“Wow. I’ve seen miracles in my own life and they’ve only happened because of Jesus. He was the one I called out to and He was the one who answered my prayers.”
Trina paused, stunned by my candor.
“You don’t really believe in that stuff, do you? I’m a Christian. Well, my parents are Catholic…But, this Jesus stuff is over the top; my husband has gone off the deep end…” Her voice trailed off as her eyes searched mine for a comforting explanation.
“…How? Is he mentally alright?” It felt awkward to ask, but it would have been more awkward not to.
“Yeah. But, it altered Amir’s whole outlook on life. He even officially changed his faith from Hindu to Christianity.” Trina nervously checked on her fresh coat of polish. It was obvious that her husband’s experience drastically affected her as well.
“Since this happened, has it caused you to question your own faith? I mean, you say you’re a Christian. But from talking to you it seems that you don’t actually believe in Christ.” The words toppled out before I had a chance to stop them.
“What’s next, politics? ” Trina shifted in her seat.
Silence hit the desolate salon like a heavy rain cloud. It forced me to question what I had done.
“Maybe I went too far. I should have just patted her manicured hand and said that she’d figure it out…” A circle of guilt and doubt swarmed my thoughts like a dense fog.
“I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. But, things happen for a reason. Life itself isn’t politically correct, you know.”
“Your pedicure is finished now.” The nail tech broke the thick air.
As we both reached into our purses to pay for our services, the conversation awkwardly shifted back to the Real Housewives.
“Why couldn’t you comfort this troubled girl like a normal person would?”
As soon as the thought hit me, a river of peace washed over my spirit. Instantly, this thought came to mind:
“I may not have said the most comforting words, but I spoke the truth from my heart.”
I’m sure poor Trina thought I was a bit strange. But, I only did what my conscience (and the Holy Spirit) prompted my heart to do. And really, that’s all God expects of me.
Although it stings to be labeled a misfit, the truth is I’m not in this world to be voted ‘most likeable’ by strangers. How could I dare comfort anyone with a beautiful lie when I know the truth? The least I can do is compel others to stop and think about it!
From what I can grasp by reading Matthew 10:34-39, Believers were never called to be politically correct.
In Mark 9:50 it clearly states that all Believers are called to be salt and light. Anyone who has dealt with either of these elements knows both salt and light have the potential to sting and burn.
But, their cleansing power is worth any amount of discomfort. In the end, Trina’s future was worth my temporary discomfort. And, that’s something I can definitely live with.
“Dear Heavenly Father,
I’m a child of yours. This is so easy to claim in the quiet confines of my home. But, it’s hard to proclaim when dealing with discrimination and opposition.
Lord, you said in your word that we are to be salt and light to the world. This means we are to bring flavor and revelation. Believers in you were never meant to blend in. You have called your children to be bold!
Lord, in this lost and dying world help me to think of myself less and think of you and your kingdom more. I repent of my selfishness. Give me a bigger heart.
The fact is you are a BIG part of my life and conversations should naturally gravitate towards what motivates me. Lord, you truly are my passion. Fill those words with meaning by helping me act on them.
If there is a place where I’ve held back from you, show me. I give you permission to rule over every area of my life.
I repent for allowing what other people think to control my decisions and actions for you. Help me to only place value on what you think about me.
In Jesus’ name, open my mouth to speak your truth. Let every ear that hears my voice receive all the goodness and love you have for them. Amen.”
Thank you for reading our weekly Christian devotional on verses: Matthew 10:34-39, Mark 9:50
Please check back and see what we have for you next week!
Author: Julia Shalom Jordan