As we journey through 2016, it’s a good resolve to live the New Year without fear. There are 365 “fear not”s in the Bible, one for every day of the year.
When I arrived in Scotland from Texas four years ago I was told “Don’t talk about your Christian faith openly because UK folk are reserved and expect others to act with the same restraint. Advice I ignored.
Four years later I have told countless people, “God bless.” I have stopped to pray with complete strangers. I have exclaimed repeatedly, “Praise Jesus! A beautiful day!” I’ve suffered only two verbal rebukes, one from a woman who said she wished I hadn’t asked God to bless her, and one from a person who informed me, “We don’t want any of your American Fundamentalism over here.”
Had I blindly accepted the advice to keep quiet, I would have missed both blessings and opportunities to share God’s blessings with others. God has provided occasions to pray with others for healing; the healing of pets, recovery from alcoholism, rescue from depression, mending after the loss of a loved one.
Fearing what people might say or think above what God had directed would have robbed the past four years of meaning and blessing.
There are other ways to walk in God’s love. The Christian walk is a designer walk. Tell the maintenance person he or she is doing a good job. Thank the post person. Thank the folks who come to pick up the garbage. Compliment a person on his or her parenting skills. Commend a teacher for a job well done. Tell the cashier to have a lovely rest of the day. Smile. If words freeze between the brain and the lips…just smile.
Live the New Year without fear. Smile! A smile is the same in every language, easily given and almost always returned.