Afterthoughts 4/14/2021

Like the Wind

John 3:8
The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

In this conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus points out something to us about wind.  We cannot see the actual wind, and we do not know where it comes from or where it goes.  Yet we know wind exists, because we can see the effect the wind has on its surroundings.

Jesus says, “So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”  This raises the question: What effect do I have on my surroundings?  More particularly, what effect do I have on the people around me?  As Paul writes to the Philippians, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.  Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

If I am honest, I am usually more concerned with my own interests than the interests of others.  I am usually more concerned with if I am “better” than others, with what people are thinking about me and the impression I am making on them, rather than how I am making them feel.  Do they notice that I am good at this or that?  Do they think I am intelligent or accomplished or funny?

These words from Christ, however, invite me to consider how I can be like the wind, how I can affect the people I encounter, by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Do they feel important?  Loved?  Cared for?  Listened to? 

This will take some work – it does not come naturally to me.  I need, as Jesus says earlier to Nicodemus, to be “born from above.” 

Merciful God,
help me to be more concerned with how I make others feel
than what they think about me, the impression I make, my reputation.
I know that to think, speak, and act this way I need the grace of Your Holy Spirit,
and I need to be converted – born anew.
I surrender to Your transforming grace in Jesus’ name.  Amen.
Pastor Ty