by Crystal Bowman
For more than a decade I was a mentor for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). I loved meeting with moms who were facing the challenging role of motherhood. I tried to encourage them with words of advice, affirmation, and some much-needed hugs.
Those young moms arrived sleep deprived and hungry for both food and fellowship. Our gourmet breakfast spread with egg souffles, French toast casseroles, yogurt parfaits, and cranberry muffins was the best way to kick off each meeting. The moms took turns bringing the food; and as a mentor, I would often get a last-minute phone call to please bring a dish since one of the moms (or her child) was sick. I kept a stash of mixes in my pantry just for that reason.
One morning, I received the 911 call that more food was needed for the breakfast table, so I opened my box of cornbread mix and added the milk, oil, and eggs. In a few minutes the cornbread was in the oven and soon the sweet aroma engulfed my kitchen. The moms will love this, I thought as I pulled the Pyrex dish from the oven and headed out the door.
I placed the 9×13 glass dish on the buffet table and set a table knife beside it. If my cornbread could talk, it would have said, “Help yourself.” But here’s the thing—almost nobody did. I went home later with nearly a full dish.
A few months later I received the call once again. My pantry stash was running low, and the only thing I could whip up in a hurry was another dish of cornbread. This time, however, I tried something different. Rather than placing the Pyrex dish on the table with uncut cornbread, I cut the cornbread into squares and neatly arranged them on a silver platter lined with a paper doily. I placed a small card next to the platter that read, “Mama’s Southern Cornbread.”
I went home with an empty platter!
The cornbread was exactly the same, but the presentation made all the difference. And that got me thinking about my life and how I live out my faith.
The Apostle Paul instructed the early Christians to imitate Jesus. Crowds had followed Jesus because they were drawn to Him and the way He treated everyone, even sinners, with love and compassion. He reminded those in Ephesus, “You are the children that God dearly loves. So follow his example. Lead a life of love, just as Christ did. He loved us. He gave himself up for us. He was a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2 NIRV).
If non-believers see our lives as dull, unfriendly, or uninviting, why would they want to know more about our faith? But if we follow Jesus’ example of loving others with kindness, gentleness, and authenticity, others may be drawn to us and interested in learning more about our faith in Him.
Living and loving as Jesus did is not something we can learn to do overnight. To live like Him, we need to know Him more. As we spend time in the Word and pray for the Holy Spirit to fill us with power and wisdom, our faith will grow—and it will show in the way we live.
So, the question I ask myself is this: Am I serving my faith in a Pyrex dish that says, “Help yourself,” or is my life of faith an irresistible, sweet aroma served on a silver platter?
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 NIV
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Crystal Bowman is a bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 books including, Our Daily Bread for Kids.She and her husband have three married children and seven huggable grandchildren.
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Join the conversation: How has your faith grown in the past year? How has your life reflected that growth?