Let’s take a trip down memory lane, and in looking we have to be honest; honest enough to admit that a lot of us at some point were headed down a dead end road, a one-way street.
If you were like some people, everybody saw the worst, but nobody encouraged the best. People are always finding and magnifying the bad. When we do wrong, people will always remember the wrong — and when we make some wrong choices in life people will hold them over our heads for ever! You all know it! Things that we do when we are very young tend to shape our lives as far as some folks are concerned. Bad decisions that we make in our young days can haunt us for the rest of our lives and people will say that you will never amount to anything.
I was born at a time when you had to help pick cotton even at a young age. Now, I have to admit that I hated picking cotton or any other field work. At that young age, when I should have been picking cotton, I made the mistake of standing up in the field and frowning up at the sun because it was hot and somebody said, “He won’t be worth anything!” I had to work through that stigma for many years. I had to prove myself even when I grew up that I would hold a job; and I did! I worked 28 years straight and had a good record, but I can remember clearly walking around with low self esteem and feeling less than a man because some folk only saw the worst in me. That’s why I have a passion for the unsaved, because those who have chosen to go down a wrong path have been told that they won’t ever amount to anything.
How many unsaved people are walking around feeling like they are less than nothing because other folks only see the worst in them? We need to take a look at ourselves and see if we are guilty of making some sinner feel like they are the worst of sinners simply because they keep messing up; because they walk the streets; because they drink all the time; sell drugs on the corner or because they sell their bodies. We can’t condone sinful behavior. We hate what some people do and sin is sin, but we need to see that there is some good in everybody! We ought to pray that God will bring out the best in them!
Our Sunday School teacher tells us on a regular basis that there is somebody sleeping under the bridge that can do what we do better than what we do — and if it had not been for the grace of God some of us could be sleeping under the bridge!
I have found out that it’s the “low lifes” that God uses. It’s who the world calls nobody that God sees something in (1 Cor. 1:27); for when we are at our worst; God is at his best!
The Rev. George T. Ellis is pastor of Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Laurinburg.