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Summary: We see people all around us bitter & angry: angry at the world because it hasn’t given them enough; angry at God because they think He hasn’t treated them fairly; angry at their spouses ... (Powerpoint Available - #232)

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MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER

RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK

(REVISED: 2016)

(PowerPoint slides used in this sermon are available at no charge. Just e-mail me at mnewland@sstelco.com and request - #232.)

TEXT: Ephesians 4:29-32; Titus 3:3-4

ILL. A number of years ago a cosmetic company sponsored a promotion in which people were asked to submit pictures & letters about the most beautiful women they knew. Thousands of letters & pictures poured in.

But one particular letter from a young boy captured a lot of attention, & it was shown to the president of the company. From what the boy wrote it was obvious that he was from a broken home & living with his father in an old & run-down neighborhood.

Writing about the woman, he said, “A beautiful woman lives down the street from me. I visit her every day. She makes me feel like the most important kid in the world. We play checkers & she listens to my problems. She understands me, & when I leave she yells out the door that she’s proud of me.”

He enclosed her picture & wrote, “This picture shows you that she is the most beautiful woman.”

Intrigued, the president asked to see her picture. His secretary handed him a photograph of a smiling, toothless woman, well-advanced in years, sitting in a wheelchair. Her sparse gray hair was pulled back in a bun, & the wrinkles on her face seemed to fade away beneath the twinkle in her eyes.

Smiling, the president said, “It’s a good letter, but we can’t use it. It would show the world that our products aren’t necessary to be beautiful.” (Adapted - SC)

A. I think he’s right. There’s a beauty, an attractiveness that’s completely unrelated to physical appearance. There’s a kindness, a gentleness, a concern, a love that can be seen & experienced in the lives of those around us.

ILL. Listen to this letter that was written to Ann Landers.

"Dear Ann, I’m a 46 year old woman, divorced, with 3 grown children. After several months of chemotherapy following a mastectomy for breast cancer, I was starting to put my life back together when my doctor called with the results of my last checkup. They had found more cancer, & I was devastated.

"My relatives had not been very supportive. I was the first person in the family to have cancer & they didn't know how to behave toward me. They tried to be kind, but I had the feeling they were afraid that it was contagious. They called on the phone to see how I was doing, but kept their distance. And that really hurt.

"Last Saturday I headed for the laundromat. You see the same people there almost every week. We exchange greetings, & make small talk. So I pulled into the parking lot, determined not to look depressed, but my spirits were really low.

"While taking my laundry out of the car, I looked up & saw a man, one of the regulars, leaving with his bundle. He smiled & said, ‘Good morning. How are you today?' Suddenly I lost control of myself & blurted out, ‘This is the worst day of my life! I have more cancer!' Then I began to cry.


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