The Turtle on the Fence Post
Imagine yourself walking along a quiet country road, kicking up some dust as you shuffle your feet along. It is another beautiful day - the sun is warm, the air is fresh and clean. A somewhat broken down wooden fence runs alongside the road where you are walking. As you amber down the road, you come to a very unusual sight - a turtle sitting on a fence post.
As you think about that turtle, do you imagine all of the energy it must have expended to get up there? Do you wonder how it could have used it's little legs to scratch and claw to the top? Or do you wonder, who put this thing up here?
When you see a turtle on a fence post, you don't have to wonder how much of the credit belongs to the turtle! It is obvious that it had some help. Shouldn't the same be true for us as believers in Christ? When people look at our lives, do they see the results of hard effort, scratching and clawing to the top - or do they see a life that can only be explained by God?
The new president designate of Campus Crusade for Christ, Steve Douglass, used that illustration recently at a conference I was attending. It was a fresh reminder that God is the one who should be getting the glory in our lives. Why? Because He is the one who should be causing the growth.
In I Corinthians 3: 6-7, Paul reminds us, "I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth." All of our efforts are meaningless unless it is God who is changing our lives from the inside out. How would our culture's view of the Christian faith change, if, when they look at Christians, they saw turtles on fence posts?
What if people around us saw lives that were gracious, giving, forgiving, trusting and loving? If they saw the love of Christ in our lives, wouldn't they be wondering, "How did they get up there?" Does this mean we keep our mouths shut and let our lives be our only witness? Of course not. But let's stop trying claw our way to the top, and start allowing God's Spirit to transform us day by day.
Scripture: Ephesians 4: 1-3 - "I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worth of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love."
Action Point: You can't fake being transformed by God. You can only allow Him to start the process.
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