"Why are you doing this? We are of the same nature as you, human beings. We proclaim to you good news that you should turn from these idols to the living God." Acts 14:15
Sts. Paul and Barnabas led something of a schizoid life. Hated and attacked both by Jews and Gentiles in Iconium, Paul and Barnabas, in order to escape being stoned, fled to Lystra and Derbe, but when they arrived there they were given names of the Greek gods because people wanted to worship them as miracle workers. In both circumstances, Barnabas and Paul knew they could not abandon the path God had set before them. They had to continue to preach the Gospel of Jesus and insist they were neither devils nor Gods, but instruments commissioned by Jesus to announce the Good News.
Knowing who we are as Christians is vital both for our own spirituality and the life of the church. If, at times, our passion for the Gospel overwhelms our good and common sense, we will appear to others as extremists who want only to convince others of our opinions, not the truth of Jesus. When Paul and Barnabas reacted strongly to stop those who were trying to worship them, they were living the faith. Their actions reminded everyone that they were about Jesus, not themselves.
All of us continue to search for ways and paths to announce the Good News. When we avoid exalting ourselves, and become servants of all as Jesus instructs us, when we get on our knees to wash others' feet and take the lowest place at banquets and dinners, we help others to know the God who humbled himself to come among us so that we might live with God forever.
Today, remember who you are and offer another person some simple service in Gods'd name.
Whose humble faith most convinced you to live more simply so that Christ might increase and you decrease? (John 3:30)