An Exceptional Life

Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. Acts 9:36 NRSV

In Joppa, Peter encountered an exceptional woman named Tabitha. MP900422744[1]What made her special was that her faith was the kind of faith you hope all Christians have. It was a faith that showed itself in good works and in acts of charity. Her actions were full of love, and her use of her resources was guided by her faith in Jesus.

Faith shows itself in good works and acts of charity.

Tabitha’s faith in and love of Jesus Christ transformed three things: her attitude,  her behavior and her reputation. In terms of herBusinessman begging with cardboard sign attitude, Tabitha was ready to recognize the needs around her, and willing to greet them with mercy. Her faith opened her eyes, and enabled her to know what needed to be done. She was not distracted and self-absorbed. Her attitude was one of openness and receptiveness. She made a positive difference in the world around her.

Tabitha’s love for Jesus Christ also impacted her behavior. She was the kind of disciple whose faith translated into action, and not just any action. Her faith triggered actions of mercy. GrandfatherShe gave and gave generously. Tabitha was certainly not a person who left a trail of disappointed, frustrated and angry people in her wake. Once she saw a need, she responded. She responded in generous and tangible ways. I imagine that she was the kind of person who always left things better than she found them! What a great way to live!

Christian love responds generously and tangibly.

Finally, Tabitha’s faith made her an exception to the rule. She stood out from the crowd. She didn’t just do the right thing, she went the extra mile. There were no rules that demanded acts of mercy for those less fortunate. Still, she gave of her own resources. She was a woman of note because her behavior was so different, so out of the ordinary. What a positive witness for Jesus Christ she must have been!

Tabitha’s example teaches us that the Christian faith is a faith that redeems us and regenerates us so that we might spread the restorative love of Jesus Christ to others. Our faith is one that calls us to take the focus off of ourselves, and draws our attention to the needy, the hurting, the broken, the forgotten and the lost!

But recognizing the needs around us is just the beginning. Our faith in God and love  for Jesus Christ can ignite a flame of passion to make a  positive differenceMP900443421[1] in our world. That flame can turn our concern into action, and make us into conduits of God’s love. As that happens, we will live the kind of exceptional life Tabitha lived. We will become the salt of earth, and the kind of lights that penetrate the dark places of this world with hope and love!

Turn your faith into action and your love into acts of charity!

Prayer:

Great giving God, Tabitha’s example challenges me to want to give more and to do more for others. Help my faith to grow so that I can clearly see the needs around me. Deepen my love so that I step up to the plate and joyfully share what I have to give. Make my life one that brings your light to the lost and hurting of this world!

Amen.

Exceptional copy

 

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