Soul-Sucking Job

And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.

Titus 2:7 (NLT)

“Welcome to Walmart” said the employee in the official blue Walmart vest. I smiled at them and said “Thanks.” There was no return smile. In fact, there was no emotion, no expression, just a blank stare from someone who seemed to be hating life at the moment. The employee didn’t even make eye contact and was staring blankly out into the parking lot. Like a caged animal, I believe she wished she could be free. “Are you OK?” I asked. “Fine” was the one-word reply I got – still no recognition that I was even standing there. Needless-to-say, my first impression of that store was not a good one.

The sad reality is that, as Christians, we sometimes behave in this very same manner. Sure, we may not have a soul-sucking job at Walmart, but often times we portray our faith as something that really isn’t that exciting – we just go through the motions that someone taught to us at some point in life. We fold our hands and close our eyes at prayer. Sometimes we kneel, but only when invited. We stand for songs in church when the praise leader says to, and sit when directed to replant ourselves in the pew. We say “Happy Sabbath” at the door of the church on the way out, because that’s what we’ve come to know. And, there is nothing wrong with all of these things. However, we must go beyond the customs and live out our faith.

As Paul puts it, “be an example to them by doing good works of every kind.” So, what might this look like? Well, I don’t want to put a limit on things, because God’s miracles are limitless, but here’s a few thoughts. Feed the hungry. Shelter the homeless. Give to the needy. Visit the sick. Pray for people you don’t know. Share the love of Jesus with others. Invite people into your life. Invite people into your church family (more on that tomorrow). Serve in your local church. Host Bible studies for those who don’t think like you already. Stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. And, here’s the kicker, do it all with joy and passion. Nobody responds to a grumpy, burnt out Christian.

In short, don’t be that Walmart greeter. Don’t let your faith be seen as a soul-sucking job. Let others see Jesus in you. Let others experience the love and joy that only comes from God.

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