HOW TO BE THE “SWEET” IN A SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE WORLD!
Have you ever met someone genuinely “sweet”? I’m not talking about people who try to butter you up because they want something; nor am I talking about someone who is trying to win back your favor after they have wounded you. I am talking about someone who is genuinely sweet. I can define “sweet” two ways: definition and sweet in action. First, definition: sweet is a beloved person; and is defined as pleasant. Second, sweet in action: Before I tell you what it is, I will tell you what it isn’t. Sweet in action sure wasn’t me! When I was in high school, I definitely was not “sweet”. I was already dating bikers; using drugs and and living the party lifestyle. I also had a very bad temper. But there was a girl in my school who genuinely was sweet. She spent her lunch time reading the Word; she always had the most pleasant smile on her face and seemed very embracing. Even though she did not condone my lifestyle, she was always kind; she always had a good word to say; and she never seemed to judge anyone. Even when some of our classmates would ridicule her beliefs, she would return their ridicule with kindness. She did not change who she was because of their behavior. In later years, I had the pleasure of seeing her at one of our class reunions. I had since become a Christian and was already in full time ministry. I went up to her to acknowledge how she had let her light shine for Christ while she was in school. I said, “I sure could tell you were a Christian.” She, while chuckling, answered: “And I could tell you weren’t”. We laughed and had a wonderful time of fellowship.
I so want to be sweet, really I do… When I enter a room, I want to enter in with the sweet fragrance of His love, my life exemplifying the characteristics of Christ. BUT, that isn’t easy sometimes. Sometimes it is easy to allow the happenings of the day, or the attitudes of others to taint my “sweetness”. Sometimes, instead of being as sweet as apple pie, I come across as a lemon tart with my meringue on too tight!
Before I go any further, I want to stress that I don’t mean “sweet” as “ooey-gooey”. I mean it as someone who genuinely displays Christ’s love to others; someone who genuinely cares about others; someone who does her best to shine her light for Christ and who uses her life to be an encouragement. So how do I do that? In my opinion, we can accomplish this by practicing the following:
- “Keep short accounts!” If something is bugging you – deal with it. Deal with it through proper, healing confrontations; deal with it in prayer; and deal with it by being honest with your emotions. If we study about Moses and how he disobeyed God by hitting the rock, there is a very important lesson we can learn. Moses had been angry with the Children of Israel and he did not deal with his own emotions. Before you knew it, out of anger, bam, he hit the rock – making him ineligible to enter into the promised land. If we are going to navigate this relational mine field called life, we have to get real. We have to get honest about what is going on with us; deal with it in accordance with Scriptural principals, and then get on with our day.
- Next, stay close to Jesus. The closer we are with the Lord; the more surrendered we are; the more consistent we are in our Christian walks; the more we will be “Christ like”; and there “ain’t” nothin’ sweeter than that.
- We also should practice what that little kid’s song says: “I’ve got the Joy, Joy, Joy, down in my heart.” And how is that “Joy” defined: J for Jesus; O for Others, then Y for You. This means putting Jesus first; the needs of others second and yourself last. When Jesus is first, He helps us to be comfortable in our own skins, then we can honestly be happy for someone else, even when they get what we want. Remember, the Joy of the Lord is our Strength!
- Lastly, being pleasant (sweet) is a choice. No one can make us do anything; and we should not allow the actions of others to cause us to change in a negative fashion. How we respond or don’t respond to someone else is our choice.
I think if we are feeling a little lemony, we need to remember that the world will know we are Christians by our “love”. And being genuinely “sweet” is just one more way of showing the love of Christ. Blessings,