The phone call finally came telling him to show up at the missionary society for the interview at 5 a.m. on a certain date. He thought this time of the day a bit strange, but nonetheless dragged himself out of bed on the cold and snowy morning and showed up promptly as requested. Nevertheless, 5 a.m. came and went, and he was left waiting all alone for three whole hours, until 8 a.m., when the interviewer at last arrived.
After brief introductions, the interviewer asked him to take a seat, and began the interview process with this question, “Can you spell?” Although mystified, the candidate replied, “Yes, sir.” The interviewer then said, “Spell ‘baker’.” In response, the candidate spelled, “B-A-K-E-R.” Next, the interviewer inquired, “Can you tell me what 2 plus 2 is?” The candidate answered, “4.”
With this, the interviewer abruptly ended the interview and dismissed the young man.
At the Board meeting of the missionary society the following day, the interviewer gave his report:
“I would like to report that this young man showed up for the 5 a.m. interview, on a snowy morning, without complaint. Clearly, he can deny himself. Moreover, he was on time. This shows him to be someone who is prompt and who keeps his word. I also tested his patience by making him wait three full hours for the interview. Lastly, I tested his humility and temper, asking questions that any seven year old child could answer. Ladies and Gentlemen, he passed all the tests. We have the makings of a fine young missionary here!”
As this story illustrates, displaying spiritual fruit serves us better than advertising our spiritual gifts!
The Apostle Paul (in the New Testament Book of Galatians, chapter 5, verses 22 through 25), reminds us that, as followers of Jesus Christ, we have the Holy Spirit within us, and we should display certain characteristics as a result:
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Always remember that no matter who you are and what your gift set may be, displaying a Christ-like spirit will very often do more to advance the kingdom of God and our place within it than anything else we can do!
STORY SOURCE: Available widely on the internet. See, for instance, http://www.illustrationsforsermons.com/DB/search-illustrations.php?alpha=
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: http://biblehub.com/niv/galatians/5.htm.