Mary Smith went to church one Sunday morning and winced when she heard the organist miss a note during the processional. She noted a teenager talking while everybody was supposed to be in prayer. She also couldn't help but notice that several blooms in the altar bouquets were wilted. She felt the usher was scrutinizing what every person was putting into the offering plate, which made her angry. She counted at least five grammatical errors made by the preacher in his sermon. As she left the church through the side door after the closing hymn, she thought, What a careless group of people.
Amy Jones went to church one Sunday morning and was thrilled at the arrangement she heard of "A Mighty Fortress." Her heart was touched at hearing a teenager read the morning Scripture lesson. She was encouraged to see the church take up an offering to help hungry children in Nigeria. The preacher's sermon answered a question that had bothered her for some time. She felt radiant joy from the choir members during the recessional. She left the church thinking, What a wonderful place to worship God!
Mary and Amy went to the same church, on the same Sunday morning.
Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.