GUEST VIEW: Thank you for being a blessing

By Van Yandell

Philippians 1:9-11 “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

Needing a minor adjustment on my Harley, I rode out to the dealership this morning. After checking into the service department and my bike was being worked on, it seemed worthwhile to look through the riding apparel and equipment.

One can always justify another Harley cap or T-shirt. Of course it was necessary to look at the new Heritage Classics, but my need for another one was questionable.

Milling around trying not to look too conspicuous, a man approached me. The usual conversation began with him asking me “How are you?” Normally I say “Just peachy, how are you?”

But this time was a little different and into the conversation I told him I had a few things on my mind I should give to the Lord so He could solve my dilemmas. Knowing full well Jesus prefers to shoulder our burdens, we sometimes forget to share them with Him.

1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your cares upon him; for he cares for you.” We humans in all our prideful ways and thoughts prefer to self-contain our troubles because at times we will not admit our weaknesses.

Always looking for an opportunity to share my faith with another, such a statement would normally have been a “lead-in” to a sharing situation. Not so with this guy. He began to expound upon his relationship with the Lord before I could get my mouth open to say anything.

He began to educate me on the details and specifics of being a child of King Jesus. Perhaps disappointment should have resulted in that he was telling me instead of me telling him. In a short second the decision was made to not interrupt and let him talk until his spirit-filled heart was content.

At a point we determined each was secure in our beliefs, our conversation then turned to other matters. I asked him his nation of ancestry. By his accent I could tell he was Hispanic.

He told me he was from Puerto Rico but had lived and worked in New York for 30 years. He had worked as a stone mason, tiler and glazer. Ah-ha! We had another thing in common besides motorcycles: brick and mortar personalities are one of their own.

He stated his wife was waiting for him. They had they been married 18 years and I said, “You probably shouldn’t keep her waiting much longer or there may not be another 18.”

We laughed and off he started toward the exit. He turned and said, thanks for the conversation. My immediate and spontaneous response was, “You have been a blessing to me today; thank you.” Will I ever see him again? Not likely, but I will remember him for a long time.

When we are a blessing to another, we are also a blessing to ourselves. Being a retired teacher, I would like to think that a few lives over the years have been touched.

Romans 12:9-10 “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.”

Paul’s admonition to us in these verses is not only a suggestion for the other person, it also is directed at our own peace of mind and emotional benefit. To bless someone goes both directions.

Genesis 37:4 “When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.” In the story of Joseph, the 11th son of Jacob, we see the results of hatred and speaking harshly to another.

Results of evil speaking never benefit anyone, yet many in our world know no other way to address another. Speech filled with anger and spite is hurtful regardless of the resilience of the other person.

1 Peter 3:15 “In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”

Some may regard the words “gentleness and respect” as being too soft and some situations require tough language. That could possibly be true, but I have doubts. Severe words fail to convey an attitude of respect for the other person and when respect is lost, effectiveness is diminished.

Most of us will remember a few conversations that were had and in some cases, exact words that were said. If someone talks to us with bitterness and disrespect, feelings toward that person are forever etched in our minds.

Asking us to forgive another would of course include things they have said to us. Forgiveness is one thing, forgetting is another.

Hopefully, my experience at the Harley dealer will make a statement to all of us, including myself. Would we not prefer someone say to us, “You have blessed me. Thank you” than to feel lowly and assaulted by our conversation?

Matthew 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” This statement by Jesus should warm our hearts and minds. To set our course for a better day depends on us more than anyone.

Jesus is our greatest teacher. He gave himself as a ransom for our sins and our eternity is by a faith-based belief in Him crucified for the remission of sin and resurrected.

We can be our own best friend or our own worst enemy. How we treat others has a tremendous bearing on our own stability.

Look for opportunities to say, “You have been a blessing to me today. Thank you.”

Van Yandell is a retired Industrial Arts teacher, an ordained gospel evangelist and commissioned missionary.