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Bible Study Tools / Perseverance

Your Crown

by Linda Wasilkoff
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
 
A few Feasts ago, one of the crafts associated with Bible lessons for children was to make a crown. That day the class of children busily cut out the shape and happily glued the “jewels” on their own specially designed crown. Each one featured the unique taste and talent of the individual. And, each crown was pointing those young people toward a time when we will all receive a very special crown.


This memory takes me back to an even more distant one. My dad was 58 when he became quite ill and had to quit work. I had already left home, but for those who were still at home, it was a difficult time. There was no income coming in because Dad was unable to go back to work. This meant that the family was also unable to attend church for several months. 

Then, the Feast came. Dad felt well enough to attend, but there was still no money. My sister and her husband came to the rescue and took the family to the Feast with them even though they were in a different Church of God.

Eventually, my Mom found work and the family was again able to make the two-hour trip to church. To their dismay, nobody welcomed them back or said “we missed you” -- not the pastor, deacons or even those they thought were their friends. It was devastating! Having been so sick and destitute and then to be ignored and slighted seemed too much. They were hurt, humiliated, angry and disappointed. As a result, they stopped attending church. 

When I visited the family farm that following summer, I could sense something was different. As we talked, I learned what had happened. What came to mind was the warning to the church in Philadelphia: “Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown” (Revelation 3:11). Until then, I had always thought it would be someone from outside the fellowship who might be of danger to us. Then I realized, it can be anyone that we allow to affect our relationship with God. 

Later I learned that my sister also quoted this Scripture to our parents. We had independently reminded them that we must not let someone else’s bad behaviour negatively affect us to the point that we quit attending church.Thankfully, whether because of the admonition from two daughters or because of what they came to see themselves, my parents realized it was up to them to control their own actions regardless of the actions of others. They returned to church and continued attending until their death – even stronger than before having weathered that trial. 

It can be so easy to allow hurt feelings to affect what we know we should do. In reality we can never control the actions of others – we can only control our own reactions! At the Feast, or any church service or activity, there can be times when we might be hurt. But, we need to keep in mind that there is a crown at stake, a crown that must be won and not lost! 

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