Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present.
Thoughts for Today:I came across an article recently in which a Texas high school track relay team was disqualified from competing for the state championship because of the action of one of its members. In early May 2013, Columbus (Texas) High School had just qualified for the state 4x100-meter relay championship by winning its race decisively. The anchor leg of the race was run by junior Derrick Hayes, who celebrated the team’s state qualification with a simple index finger pointed toward heaven. As you know, this gesture is a common one in sports -- remember Sammy Sosa or Barry Bonds after breaking the single season home run record? However, on this occasion, it was determined to be a violation of a University Interscholastic League (UIL) regulation barring excessive celebration. Once officials at the Columbus meet decided that Hayes had violated the excessive celebration rules, the entire 4x100-meter squad was disqualified and effectively banned from the state championships. Hayes’ father, KC Hayes told KHOU (the CBS affiliate that first reported the incident), "You’re brought up your whole life that God gives you good things, you’re blessed. It was a reaction -- he put his hand by his ear and pointed to the heavens."
In our passage today, Paul tells us he is in his letters when he is absent, yet in his actions when present. In other words, what he says (or writes) is in harmony with how he will behave when he is with them physically. Derrick Hayes is a great present day illustration of this concept. Hayes had just run a particularly fast leg of the race, and his team was now qualified for the state championship. How did he react? Was it with arms uplifted in triumph, high fives to the whole team, a choreographed victory dance, or perhaps a demeaning gesture to the opposing team? No, none of that. Only a simple finger pointed toward heaven. It was Hayes’ reaction to his victory -- giving the glory to God, not to self.
Questions to Ponder:How we respond to specific circumstances says a lot more about our faith than how often we attend church. Is your behavior in harmony with what you say you believe? Is God glorified and honored by your actions and reactions?