The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (NIV)
A storm had arisen, and the disciples were rightly afraid. If any of us had been the one they awakened, we would have offered some words of comfort as we set about doing what we could do to make the situation better. Such words form the niceties that make social interaction work. For example, not everyone needs to hear the full story of how we feel as we walk the hallways of our workplace. A person asks how we are, and we reply with a smile that we are just fine, and then return the question.
Jesus seems to have had no use for such niceties. Consider how He addressed His mother in John 2:4 or the rich young man in Matthew 19:16-22. Such interactions can appear uncaring or simply rude. What we are witnessing, however, is pure truth. Jesus, Who is the truth, cannot indulge in the white lies that grease the wheels of our social interactions. The One Who said in Matthew 5:37 that anything more than a simple yes or no is from Satan, cannot deviate from the truth into foolish small talk.
How much of our talk is filled with nothing? How often do we give empty compliments that we do not mean, gently lie to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, or run on at the mouth for any number of reasons? Jesus never misses an opportunity both to speak and enact the truth. If my life is to reflect His, there is much I must change in how I interact with everyone.
Almighty Father, I want people to like me. To be honest, I am more concerned about this than that You approve of my life. Change my heart on this, o God. Help me to speak only the truth in love, caring more about being like Jesus than being liked by my friends. In His holy name I pray, amen.
Copyright © 2012 by Steven R. Perkins