“GO, AND DON’T TELL” OR “GO TELL”

talking mouthIn a few days Easter will be here.  A reminder again of the Resurrection story.  I’m so glad someone told me that story!

My blogging experience has brought me a bit of a quandary that I have been thinking about, that is, the scripture regarding “not letting your left hand know what your hand does,” Jesus’ commands to several persons he touched to “go and not to tell” and the scripture about doing things publicly lest we lose our reward in Heaven.

The reason these scriptures trouble me is because I have had many delightful and rewarding experiences in things “of the spirit.”  I want to share these experiences.  I don’t want to die without having shared these experiences.  So what to do?

In the past some churches had “testimony” services.  Some funny like “Praise the Lord I’ve been in bed with the doctor all week but I’m fine now..”  But I learned much from older people who had wonderful relationship with Jesus and I knew they were genuine even if they were funny.

I have been inspired by great men of the past who have left testimonies of the Lord’s ministry through them.  For example, Smith Wigglesworth, who lived in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s was a simple man, a plumber.  He tells that one night, he is awakened.  he sits up, looks around and sees the devil, and says to him, “Oh, it’s just you.” and promptly goes back to sleep!!!  I’m glad he told that story.

There is a story I have heard from far back in my childhood about my Uncle Orcie Barler.  I’m lacking details.  I asked my aunt about it.  I think it concerned a time when Uncle Orcie’s child was sick. They lived in the country.  A man appeared ar the door, came in and – I guess – prayed for the child.  Then he disappeared walking across the meadow.   I wish Uncle Orcie would have left that testimony to his descendents. Who was the man?  Some say he was an angel.

I’ll share a personal story.  About thirty-five years ago, there was a young couple in our church who were going to be missionaries. My bank account was nil but I had a five dollar bill.  I felt a “spiritual” nudge to give it to Kathy, but I was hesitant to do so.  Five dollars?  That’s just embarrassing!  But I humbled myself and gave it to her.  The next morning I found a check lying on the floor in the hall.  It was made out for $20.00, dated about three or four months previously, signed by me, with the payee line empty!  I looked back at my bank stub and it had been deducted from my account, no payee entered!  It was lying in front of a bookcase that held encyclopedias.  Nothing else in the hall except pictures on the wall.  Why had I written that check and where did it appear from?  Sammy and I both had jobs, so our need was not so great, I knew checks would be coming.  I believe it was just a confirmation from the Lord because I had obeyed him the night before.  But I did go ahead and cash the check, giving me a bit in the pocket right then.

Okay, I ask you.  I do not often tell this story because…. Well, why because?

I’m inclined to think our reticence to tell these kinds of stories is a devil’s lie to keep us quiet.  In Revelations we are told that some overcame Satan by the Word and by the word of their testimony.

Let’s look further at the scripture about losing our reward.  It says, “Watch out!  Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.”

Consider the motivation.  If it is to influence others for good and to bring glory to God, go for it.  Tell your story. Maybe it won’t be as impressive as Smith Wigglesworth, but it will be a legacy to inspire someone long after you have gone.  Anyway if it was a good experience for me, it is probably worth telling.  Tell your story.  Leave a legacy, not just an inheritance!

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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23 Responses to “GO, AND DON’T TELL” OR “GO TELL”

  1. dawnlizjones says:

    I was just thinking about the Wigglesworth one a few days ago–love it! I so agree that a huge part of the legacy we leave to others is our story–the struggles as well as the victories. I DO hope you will “feel the nudge” to continue to share more of your own. Personal experience is such an encouragement.

  2. Salvageable says:

    A horse has two sides, and people can fall off to the right or to the left. Temptation can be the same: we can be quiet when we have an account worth sharing, or we can share it with the wrong reasons, to bring glory to ourselves. As long as you are aware of both dangers, I’m sure you can keep your balance between them. And I’d sure like to read more of your stories! J.

  3. shoreacres says:

    We all tell our stories in different ways, but the telling is the way we form connections, and embed ourselves into the larger story of salvation. I think the best answer to the “tell, or don’t tell” question still is one I learned in Vacation Bible School, so long ago.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Love it. You are an amazing lady; so thankful for the “gifts” you send me – songs, helpful hints, stories, bits of nostalgia. Thank you. A relationship with Jesus is in many ways so personal. I love to hoard him close to myself. Telling seems a bit like pulling the petals off a rose. I’m ashamed to say such a thing. I’m reminded that he said we are the salt of the earth and he implies that if we hoard (lose our saltiness) it is good for nothing except to be trodden underfoot. No greater story than that of Jesus and His Love.

  4. I enjoyed reading this as well as the comments. Sometimes, it’s been a tussle in me as well, but I tell myself, if all the great men in the Bible and over the centuries had been quiet and no one had bothered to tell the stories, where would we be?

  5. Pingback: Featured Posts #24…Let me share your post links. | a cooking pot and twistedtales

  6. great post that’s got me thinking. I had an experience right after my sister died that defies explanation. I am still trying to wrap my mind around it.

    • oneta hayes says:

      I’d love to read. Maybe someone else has had similar experience, or maybe I’ll add that to my mysteries that can only be explained by the supernatural. Being a Christian I filter everything through the lens of the Bible. But I definitely believe we sometimes get “drops of blessings” just because God is good and sometimes he enjoys a good laugh at our surprise and response.

      • Maybe some has had the same experience. Anything is possible. It’s hard to describe because there wasn’t any physical thing like the check you found. My sister died suddenly under mysterious circumstances. she was 29. There was a police investigation–autopsy, toxicology reports–the works. But that all came later. She and my mother were away–the permanent kind, in that they were cutting ties and not coming back. They were going to live their lives elsewhere and have no contact with my dad, my bro and I. I don’t know why they chose to do that. There were arguments leading up to their leaving but all the reasons given turned out to be based on falsehoods. They left on a freezing Monday. I knew something was wrong. I tried to contact them, got no answer. All I did was pray. I couldn’t do anything else. That feeling intensified over the next five days and I just kept praying for them. I said the rosary over and over; I found variations on it that various saints endorsed and I said them too. I just wanted them to be alright even if they never spoke to me again. Then I got the call on Saturday night that my sister had died. I ran upstate to the hotel where mom and her had been staying this whole time. I stayed with my mom that night and I just cried and prayed. I couldn’t do anything else. I said so many rosaries that night and then somewhere around dawn I wasn’t alone. I mean my mom was there in the same room but she was so so deep in shock that only her body was there. Her mind was elsewhere. There was light all around me–white light–enfolding me like a mother’s arms and I was sobbing into a shoulder and there was this sense that everything would be alright. I was loved and protected by the mother of all mothers, whom I’d been praying to unceasingly. It would take time but all would be mended. I would go on. I would do that one thing I am supposed to do. I would be okay. My sister would be okay. My family would be ok. I would see my sister again one day. I hadn’t slept well for days before this but in her arms I fell asleep, knowing for a brief while, true peace. That experience strengthened me. I was able to take on everything my mom could not handle. She was able to lean on me and grieve knowing I’d take care of the details for her, be the hostess, the point person the family needed. That’s my story. I’m Catholic if you couldn’t guess, not that that matters. God is universal; its our understanding of him that is not.

        • oneta hayes says:

          Melinda, thanks so much for sharing this story. No I am not Catholic but do I believe your story? Yes, I do. There are many things about God’s kingdom that I do not understand. One time I visit a little church that was so different than mine. People were poor and ultri-enthusiastic (if I may use that word). When I left, I was being critical in my mind about their methods of demonstration in worship. These words came so plainly to my mind, I believe they were God’s words, “I can be anything that I need to be.” I was so humbled. I realized how important their worship was to them, and how God rewarded them in their “offerings and manners” of worshiping him. This is probably a story I need to tell in a bit more detail and on my blog.

          • You’re welcome 🙂 Maybe it will help someone. I hope it does. You should tell this story on your blog! I agree, God is universal. It’s we who like to box Him up and put labels on him.

  7. Iris Ioana says:

    Your blog is very nice and inspires me, That’s why i nominated you for the 3 Day Quote Challange i wanted to make sure that you don’t miss it. I would like you to share your thoughts and favorite quotes, but if you don’t want to, then it’s not a problem, of course. Your blog is still on my list of amazing ones!

    • oneta hayes says:

      Thank you, Iris. I have been over to your blog for a browsing session. You have many delightful posts to which I responded there. Regarding the quote challenge, I thank you, and accept your offer. It might however, take a few days to line up. It is true that there are so many funny, wise, and witty things that have been said, finding quotes is pretty easy. May problem is a bit harder for finding bloggers to pass on to who have not already participated. But some like to do it again, and, as you say, no body is obligated to do so. See you later.

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