I hear it far too often.
What is the use?
"Look at those children! I can’t wait until we have our first baby."
"Yea but the time will come when they will be wanting money every few minutes."
"I can’t wait to go to college."
"Yea, you say that now but you just wait. Wait until you have all of that work to do."
"I would love to take a class at the community college."
"Yea, you say that now but just wait until you are old."
You have met these people haven’t you? I have. They have a way of dousing most any hope that we have. Again and again, they communicate, "There really is no hope." (Now some will quickly say "Jesus" regarding our hope. Yet, at the same time they live right now as if there is no hope.)
Far too many Christians utter words of hopelessness. You’ve heard them. "I’m too old, young, or set in my ways." Sometimes church leaders speak like this regarding their congregations. "They will never change. Those elders won’t ever get it. With a preacher like him there is no hope. Our church will never amount to anything."
Some of us who are Christian leaders buried dreams we had some years ago. Now mind you, perhaps some dreams need to die. Dreams that are basically centered around our egos really are not kingdom-sized dreams. They ought to die. There are some kingdom dreams that were allowed to die after the dream was strangled by critics. Yet, should we be living as if we had no hope?
Walter Anderson was the editor of "Parade Magazine" for twenty years. He grew up in poverty. He was the product of a very difficult home environment. His father beat him when he caught him reading a book. He was a "D" student most of the time. One teacher, however, told Anderson repeatedly how much she believed in him. Anderson said that she made all the difference in the world. She helped him get into a parochial school.
One day, however, he went to class with his shirt collar up. Another teacher told him to take off his shirt and he refused. The teacher took the boy’s shirt off and told him to stand up in front of the class. All the kids laughed as they saw his undershirt with holes in it. He was humiliated. He finished the semester and then quit school. He joined the Marines. Sometimes the haunting sounds of someone’s laughter can last for years.
- Live today with the hope that God offers in Jesus. That hope makes a difference TODAY!
- Refuse to have a nasty, negative, cynical attitude. Refuse to join the naysayers.
- Be known as the person God uses to brighten someone’s day. Smile. Speak. Introduce yourself. Be engaged with others.
- Never, never make fun of a human being, either a child or an adult. Never laugh at someone’s problem or their failure.