Cup of cold water

Have you checked today’s headlines yet?

Several college students got drunk and started a fight, two of everyone’s favorite celebrities filed for divorce, and the coach is “very excited” about the next game. “We hope to be competitive,” he said.

There was a murder downtown, a meth lab exploded, and police are looking for a suspect in a string of convenience store robberies.

A professional athlete feels disrespected and unappreciated by his $8 million-per-year offer, so he’ll probably ask to be traded to a team that’ll value him.

Oh, and by the way, the celebrities’ divorce trial looks like it’ll be messy.

The sort of thing that dominates headlines in America never ceases to intrigue me. In our more honest moments, most of us would admit that much of what captures our attention is of no great significance. Coaching changes, political maneuvering, fashion choices, and the latest fad diet—though temporarily engaging—ultimately matter little.

What does matter?

It’s usually the stuff that nobody reads about. A sinner is saved. A believer prays and meditates on God’s word. A grieving widow is comforted by a note or hug. A child is encouraged. A Sunday School teacher shares a Bible story with eight squirmy three-year-olds.

It won’t be on Entertainment Tonight or Sportscenter, but last week a missionary somewhere in South America shared the good news about Jesus with a twice-divorced single mom. A dad in a local church worked long hours to earn a living for his family and then came home every night to try to show his kids how to walk with Christ. A quiet Christian volunteered at a soup kitchen in the name of Jesus and visited a cancer patient in the hospital.

MTV didn’t follow him around with a camera crew, but last night a Christian teenager stood up to enormous pressure from his friends and remained true to his faith. There was another teen whose picture won’t be splashed on the cover of Seventeen, but the Lord smiled this week as he watched her try to live like one of his.

Good stuff is happening all around us, but it’s too bad all the news outlets are focused on the glamorous, the well-paid, the famous.

Don’t let that discourage you, though. God is watching, and he sees every little thing that his children do. It may never cross the newswire, but you can be sure that God takes note of every cup of water given in his name.

“And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward” (Matthew 10:42).

Keep up the good work. You’re the kind of influence this world needs to hear more about. —Chuck


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