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The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

I have a friend who is a bi-vocational minister. He has a regular job during the week, and preaches on Sunday. He is a carpenter.

He said it is very interesting when he goes out on a job as a carpenter and people find out that he is a preacher. The language changes. He said that one day a man said that he had more difficulty working around the preacher than any other person he had ever met. He said, “I just can’t use the words I would normally use. I have to speak and act differently.”

It is interesting how there are some people in life who seem to change our behavior when we are in their presence. While it is good that the behavior is changed in a positive way, it is a shame that our behavior is not the same whether that person is present or not.

An old Sunday School publication contained the following:

Times when people want to see their Sunday School teacher:

1. When they are taking a basket to the needy family

2. When they’re taking their kids to a G rated movie

3. At P.T.A.

4. When checking out inspirational books in the library

5. While visiting the nursing home

Times when people don’t want to see their Sunday School teacher”

1. When they are trying to fix a traffic ticket

2. When they burned a finger and uttered a four letter word

3. When dealing with an insurance claims adjuster

4. At R rated movies

5. When bets are being taken at the office football pool

Do you remember in school when the teacher would leave the room? My experience (and I contributed to it) was that classroom behavior changed. We would even post someone at the door to signal us when the teacher was returning so we could resume proper behavior.

One teacher wore high heel shoes so you could hear her coming down the hall. One day she took off her shoes and returned quietly down the hall. She caught us!

God never leaves the room or the workplace. God is present everywhere. His presence far exceeds that of a bi-vocational preacher or a Sunday School teacher or anyone else. Our behavior should be tempered by knowing that He is always present everywhere.

Job said, “For God carefully watches the way people live; he sees everything they do. No darkness is thick enough to hide the wicked from his eyes.” (Job 34:21, 22 NLT) Paul reminds us, “now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander and dirty language.” (Colossians 3:8 NLT)

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