Living Out Our Faith

“I like your Christ, but not your Christianity.”

Mahatma Ghandi

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?  Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.                                                            James 2:14-17

I am to say a few words today at the retirement of one of our counselors at my Christian Counseling Center. I have been deeply involved with this Center since 1993 when I was one of the incorporating founders, and then the chairman of the board of directors, and finally, the first executive director. I am to speak about one of our staff who is retiring after 20 years of service to the agency.

I will say that our staff is dedicated, and this staff member is an example of the culture of the agency. Longevity comes from both staff and administration having high regard and trust for one another. Shared values of character, caring, competence, and adherence to Christian principles are the pillars of the agency.

I placed character and caring on the list before competence for a reason. While all of those values are absolutely essential for the culture we wish to maintain, (and this staff member has them in abundance), competence is one that we can grow and nurture. Character and caring are essential personal qualities which we look for in a person that are already a core part of the individual. We cannot teach those qualities- we can only encourage and affirm them.

Our Christian principles tell us that we are here for the benefit of those whom we serve. That is a character trait of Jesus that we must emulate. It is manifested by our stance that we are here to serve the community, and to do that regardless of a person’s ability to pay the full cost of services. Our agency will, and has, found ways to maintain this important community service in unique and creative ways. It, I tell the staff, is what we do.

I am so blessed to have been a part of this agency and its mission.  I hearken to Ghandi’s words spoken in 1927 when he was asked about Christianity. He saw that Christians did not live out the Christ that they espoused. I am so glad that my agency, New Creation Counseling Center, has found a way to consistently live out its mission, and it is measured by staff and administration who keep their eye on the prize- serving others like Jesus did.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for your plans to have us serve our community to show people your love for them, Amen

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