Once upon a recent day, I was at a large, anonymous store to pick up a prescription. It was late in the day and the pharmacy was closing in 30 minutes. The line of customers promised a 15 minute wait. Sometimes such things can be boring…but not this time. A very disgruntled customer was providing us with some drama.
The first hint of something gone awry was a man, about 35 to 40, yelling, “Yeah…call the manager, I’d LOVE to talk to your manager!” This was followed immediately by an announcement over the PA system, “Manager to the Pharmacy please…manager to the pharmacy.”
For the rest of my sojourn in the pharmacy line I heard the raised voice of our unhappy customer arguing with the manager but could only make out the words when he yelled, “I’LL SUE YOU!” Finally, I had my pills and just happened to be walking behind the red-faced manager and burly assistant as they escorted the outraged homo-horribilus to the door. As I followed them to the front door, I gathered from the overheard conversation that he had called the manager names you won’t find in the Bible. We stepped through the door and they told him to, “Hit the road.” And, with a passing reference to something about hearing from his lawyer, he struck out.
I’m not sure about his religion. If he was a Christ follower, he wasn’t following too well that day. I think it would not have been very entertaining otherwise. See, when you follow Christ, you don’t attract much attention. You don’t raise a ruckus with the folks in the pharmacy, you are polite to your waiter/salesperson/receptionist/cashier…even when they are surly or make a mistake. You honor everyone from the clerk to the queen…from the peasant to the president the same…because you are different.
Following Christ has zilch to do with “going to church.” All too many rude, selfish, inconsiderate, arrogant and egotistical people “go to church.” No, following Jesus means that you’re being transformed into His likeness. With every passing day, you look more and more like Him. There’s a visible, audible transformation because you don’t act or talk like you used to. You die to your old self and put on a new self. This is true because Jesus Christ changes people.
Putting on the new self is a daily necessity. Sometimes I forget something when leaving the house. Okay, okay, most of the time: glasses, watch, pen, notebook, billfold, keys, revolver (kidding). But the most important item is my Christlikeness. If I forget that, I might attract attention but I will most likely regret it.
Next time you leave the house, don’t forget your change!