It was after I had finished treatment for breast cancer and was trying to put it all behind me. I had a doctor’s appointment unrelated to my cancer care. Of course, I updated my medical history with the cancer diagnosis.
I felt the doctor’s eyes as he looked me up and down and concluded with, “So you had a mastectomy.” It was an incredibly rude comment that can still rile me up years later. He could have simply said, “You look beautiful and healthy!” (Further insult upon injury is that I did not have a mastectomy to treat my cancer. Needless to say, I never returned to this doctor.)
Breast cancer is personal and not just because it is about breasts. Each cancer journey is unique with a myriad of decisions to be prayed over and made by the patient and the doctors together. Before commenting, remember that we don’t have all the information. We didn’t hear what the cancer patients heard. We don’t know what they are comfortable with and what terrifies them. Let’s not judge them. Please, let’s keep our comments to ourselves.
Rather, know that there is plenty we can do as the list of needs is long for cancer patients. Pray. Encourage. Listen. Love on. Reflect Christ. As appointed stewards of God’s grace, we all have a gift that somebody needs from us today.
Mercy triumphs over judgment!
1 Peter 4:10
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
Someone described their religion to me as “Love and hard word.” In theory, it is a good philosophy. Love implies kindness to others. Hard work implies productivity. These are honorable principles that can make the world a better place.
However, love and hard work can’t save us or the world. If heaven was built on the love and hard work of mankind, it wouldn’t be eternal or perfect. I thank God that His heaven is based on the love of His perfect Son Jesus Christ and the hard work of Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross.
Neither our good deeds nor our performance can take the place of faith in Jesus Christ. As I surrender my life to Jesus, I want to work hard and make the most of every opportunity. I strive to genuinely love people. The reason why is more than a philosophy with positive benefits for those around me. Rather, I long to follow the example of my Lord Jesus Christ.
Good people work hard and love people. Godly people work hard and love people as the resulting expression of genuine faith. It is not enough to simply love others and do good things. We were created to know God who defines perfect love and embodies everything good.
We are all works in progress as the knowledge of Jesus’s love becomes real in our hearts and tangible in our daily lives. So, are you aiming to be godly or simply good?
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.