This past summer, my husband and I were visiting my family in the Chicago suburbs. We all took the train into downtown Chicago to visit one of the museums. On our walk from the train to the museum, we stopped at a Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee and, of course, donuts! As we left the coffee shop, there was a shabbily dressed, older man standing outside. He asked if I had any spare change. I hesitated only a moment, debating about holding up the family outing, before responding with “how about some breakfast instead?” The man smiled like I’d just told him he won the lottery. I asked him for his donut preference and whether he wanted coffee and then proceeded back into the shop to order for him. When I came back with his donuts the man was simply thrilled. I wished him God’s blessings and headed off with my family. As we walked along, my sister shared with me that my husband had told her, I suffered from OCCD. I was a little puzzled, I knew about OCD but wasn’t so sure about the extra “C”. She explained that I apparently had Obsessive Compulsive Compassion Disorder. Well, you’d have to know my husband, but I knew that he didn’t mean that as a compliment — however I certainly took it as one!
I’ll never see that man again, at least on this side of Heaven. But, I know God put him in front of me for a reason. Maybe that man didn’t need me or my good deed. What if perhaps it was my husband who needed to see my faith in action? I’ll never know — but I can be certain God’s plan is perfect and it all turned out the way He wanted it to. My only regret is that I didn’t have the time to ask the man to come in and sit down with me so I could hear his story. So, I’ll have to just wait until the next time God allows me to put my OCCD to good use!
“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes” (1 Peter 3:1–3 NIV).
We’re all familiar with this verse from 1 Peter about how wives may win over their husbands for Christ through their own behavior. But, this lesson isn’t limited to marriages! Doesn’t this apply to all of our relationships? If we rewrite the exhortation, it might say “Christian, submit yourself to your family, friends and neighbors so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by your behavior.” So, none of us are off the hook here – we must all remember that our actions speak louder than words!
Dear Father in Heaven, please send your Holy Spirit to guide and direct all my actions so that they may be not only pleasing in your sight but that they may bring others closer to you. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.
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Thanks from the Gospel Outreach Committee!