Are you a builder or a stumbling block? Writing a series of stories on Good Samaritans has given insight to the privilege God gives every one of us to impact people’s lives! How we respond to parents and grandparents, the way we speak to our children, pastors, police officers, co-workers, even strangers sent our way, attitudes of the heart as we work, worship, wait, wander, and witness through daily endeavors, words we use when speaking to people, and so many other things we do affect the lives of others! Are we Good Samaritans or Good Blockers?
Reading Romans 14: 12-13, Paul puts it in proper perspective for each of us to ponder; are we builders or blockers to the people in our lives?
“Yes, each of us will have to give a personal account to God. So don’t condemn each other anymore. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not put an obstacle in another Christian’s path…Let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.”
Paul’s writings cause us to think about how we treat others, those we know and strangers who could actually be angels unaware! He reminds us that every influence we’ve had on individuals will be clearly seen and examined at the Judgment Seat of God. If that doesn’t get our attention, we’re dealing with hardened hearts that need to be humbled. An Eddie Smith sermon serves as a sure cure for calloused hearts in need of a good tune up. He preaches and puts the Word in action by how he treats others. What do people we know and don’t know say about how we treat them? More importantly, what would Jesus say about how we treat others The importance of treating people the way we want to be treated should convict hearts to do as Jesus did. How many times have we inadvertently been rude or caused others to feel left out, offended, or heartbroken by our actions? Jesus knows every action good or bad and every person we have helped build up or been a stumbling block in their lives. And when we stand before Him when our work on earth is done, we and Thee will see every act of hatefulness or helpfulness we did to others. The truth of our actions and attitudes as builders or blockers will befall us before the Master.
My heart stirs with love for a lady in my church who is a builder, Good Samaritan, and shares the same birthday (Aug. 18) with my late husband, Tim! She and her husband are like two peas in a pod, serving Jesus and sharing His love everywhere they go. This dear friend has written long letters, sent cards, supported the cause of Tim’s Gift, and given encouragement to help me walk through the valley of the shadow of death… twice. Her attention to details in my life story shows she cares, shares, and builds me up when the devil tries to knock me down. Are you thinking of builders who help you get through hard times?
At a recent church event, my friend and I talked while waiting in line for food. She asked if I remembered giving each member a one dollar bill with a red heart drawn around ‘In God We Trust’ when I was choir president in 2013. We giggled joyfully while recalling my challenge to each choir member to give dollars to people and be a living testimony of God’s love. I recalled the next choir practice when she raised her hand to share about going to Walmart and feeling led to give hers to a lady in the parking lot who was overcome with emotions upon receiving the dollar and reminder to trust in God.
My friend shared how that challenge impacted her life. She and her husband began collecting and circling the most important words on dollar bills. They began giving them to people and watching what God would do. They kept a few marked bills with them at all times. She shared how the Holy Spirit nudged her heart to increase her giving. She had been faithful with a few and believed He would help her do more. So, she made a commitment to do the same with $20 bills. She hesitated at first, but knew if she was faithful with the $1 bills that God would bless her to do $20 blessings in His perfect timing.
She helps coordinate meals at our church for families to celebrate the home going of loved ones after funerals. She shared about a funeral when local law enforcement and firefighters were present but had not been asked to join the family for the meal. Her heart stirred to invite the builders — community Good Samaritans — to dine with the family, but felt there was not enough food to feed everyone. That’s when she remembered the challenge and headed to Southern Style for more chicken and bar-b-que, never telling anyone what she was doing or asking to be reimbursed.
She pulled the $20 bill — with In God We Trust circled in red — from the hiding place inside her billfold and paid for the food. She told how much the men in uniform, who help people every day, enjoyed eating a good meal with the family. As we approached the food table, I relished every word she shared with Holy Ghost goose bumps tingling from my head to my toes. She glowed with joy while adding personal finishing touches to a story that encouraged me and made heaven smile.
I could see Tim telling Jesus, “That lady and her husband are friends of gold and builders of blessings.”
Every day we have opportunities to build for eternity. Day by day our lives can be different in many ways if we take the challenge to be builders – not stumbling blocks. Every gentle word, generous thought, unselfish deed can be a blessing that sparks a story for others to one day hear – here… and heaven to approve with hallelujah cheers!
Will you be a builder or stumbling block…what is your answer to them – to Him?
Becky Spell Vann is the owner/operator of Tim’s Gift Love Ministry.