Thorns hurt, but roses heal relationships; aid in physical, mental, and emotional health; and beautify boring barren lawns.
Walking among rose bushes before they bloom, we see leaves, but our eyes often drift to the thorns. But once the plants bud and blossom, the flowers capture our attention. Although outnumbered by thorns, the beauty of the flowers stands out, prominently displayed for all to see, smell, and enjoy. We use rose petals for decoration, food, tea, salves, and nutritional supplements.
Jesus, the perfect example of one who stood out from the crowd—a rose among thorns—valued others more than Himself. He endured mental, emotional, and physical thorns for our sake. And He offers to replace our ugliness with beauty, our hate with love, our guilt with forgiveness, and our sin with cleansing.
Like roses and Jesus, God wants us to stand out in the crowd, to heal rather than hurt, and to focus on the clothing of God’s Spirit rather than the latest designer labels. We can reflect God in both speech and behavior and allow others to see the confidence possible through a personal relationship with God. We can value people more than possessions.
Believers are different. We wear the sweet fragrance of God’s love and have accepted the challenge to share God’s life-changing message. Standing out involves making alternate plans when invited to questionable activities, feeding on God’s Word rather than the world’s garbage, and choosing materials, movies, music, and Internet sources that display and encourage godly thoughts and motives.
Refusing to put people down by mocking and spreading rumors also helps us stand out. Instead, we can encourage others by standing up for them, complimenting them, and refusing to say anything negative about them. Like the beauty of a rose, we can bring out the best in others. When peers look like they’ve lost their last friend, we can offer friendship. When they obviously need help, we can interrupt our personal plans to lend a hand. If they don’t know Jesus, we can introduce them to Him.
Let’s choose to follow Jesus’ example and live as roses among thorns.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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