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Like it IS


I’ll tell you like it is …

On the second day of my holidays I contracted a cold. Normally I do not have colds as I am too busy to give them the time and attention they deserve.

I am on my seventh day with this cold and it has every promise of lasting well over a week. (Anything that lasts less than a week is not to be classed as an illness and certainly does not entitle anyone to the sympathy of friends, relatives or associates.) I am using several of the so-called cold remedies, not that I believe in them but as a way of drawing attention to my condition. After all, people don’t want to hear over and over again about your cold.

With a little practice and skill you can make almost a full-time job of caring for a cold. You are boiling water for neo-citron or you are carefully measuring cough syrup or you are applying Vicks Vap-O-Rub or you are simply putting on another sweater–the ways of attracting attention are numberless.

As I said I have no faith in the so-called cold remedies. There is no such things as a cold remedy although people continue to squander their money in answer to all the advertisements about them. If you use all the remedies you can handle on the average cold, it will go away in seven days. If you do nothing at all for it, it will be gone in a week.

That’s the average cold of course. Not one like my present contract. Not one that comes in July with a stubborn, body-wrenching cough that persists unchanged day after day and keeps everyone awake night after night. How can honest people accept sympathy when all they have is one of those little snifflers that lasts only a day or two? I’d be ashamed to call such a thing a cold. If it was me, I’d answer “fine” when people asked how I was feeling.

Of course we have our opinions. You might agree with what you’ve just read or you might laugh at the humor in the complaint. Every one has an opinion about almost everything in their world.

Sometimes our circle of friends defines that opinion. We wear the “in” brand and scoff at what’s “out”. Talk the talk everyone talks. Do what everyone else does. But is that who we really are?

Jesus tells a story about two men who are praying to God. One is a tax collector labelled by a circle of people as the one you stay away from. The other man perceives himself to be more reputable, refined and part of the crowd that counts. He begins by thanking God he’s not like cheaters, sinners and adulterers — especially like that tax collector over there. After all I fast twice a week and I give you a tenth of my income. This man defined himself by being better than someone else. He thinks that’s why God should notice.

Meanwhile some distance away the tax collector can’t even lift his eyes to heaven. He beats his chest. “Be merciful to me, O God, for I am a sinner.” Jesus said this is the man whom God heard because he was honest about himself. “For those who think so proudly of themselves will be humbled. Those who humble themselves will be lifted up. So much for judging by appearances and opinions. Are we blinded by our opinions?

Jesus, on occasion, points out we can be so convinced about our we miss out on what really counts. At 20 Church we do have opinions but we do ask ourselves the question, ‘What would Jesus do?’ If you’re wondering about that very thing come and join us.

Come and join us!

Supplemented with a story by Bob Alguire


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