I have many, many quirks and fetishes in life that makes me the strange person I am. One of them happens to be that I like markers. But not just any markers; I like markers that make a statement. Markers that leave a mark! What a novel idea. I like them bold, every color under the rainbow and I don’t want them to fade. I like my people the same way. Every path I’ve crossed in my life has left some sort of mark on me and I no doubt, even if they don’t appreciate my Sharpie analogy, have left a mark on the lives of others.
I’m sure when Frederick W. Redington and William H. Sanford, Jr. founded Sanford Manufacturing Company in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1857 they had no idea that their focus on producing glue and ink would one day explode into the creative masterpieces that have been accomplished by Sharpie artists. I’m likewise sure that when we get to Heaven we’ll have no idea of some of the people that we left a mark on. Apostle Paul told the Romans the Philippians that we were to mark two types of people, so get out your Sharpie dude!
Mark the Trouble Makers
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
I can almost guarantee every church has got at least a few. While Apostle Paul’s marks were concerned with “offenses contrary to doctrine,” those who would change God’s Word to suit their own purpose, there are also those who (contrary to scripture) just love trouble. Those who love making statements that are sure to ruffle someone’s feathers, create dissension among the members or are just plain mean! It comes in the form of gossip, criticism, “correction” and oh so often in the form of prayer requests. Whether it’s changing God’s Word or causing God’s Word to be unheard when someone is upset, we need to mark those people and avoid them. While it’s impossible to avoid someone completely in most of our smaller congregations, we don’t have to linger in their presence either. Dispense the Christian niceties of “God bless ya sister or brother,” and move on down the aisle. Don’t give opportunity to fall victim to having your mind taken off the Word of God and placed on something that you likely can do nothing about.
There is the story of days gone by when an “adulteress woman” was marked with the scarlet letter “A” for adulterer. This for me is akin to what Paul is saying, only he didn’t say mark the sinner, he said to mark those who cause division among the saints, because that is serious business. It’s much like having an affair on Christ because you’re breaking His heart.
Mark the Tried and True!
Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
I’ve been blessed with a Christian lifetime full of “examples.” There’s likely not enough ink in a sharpie to mark those who have walked beside of me and been encouragers of the faith. Paul said to take note of those people, probably because we’ll need them again. I wish that I could send every single person who’s made a mark on my life a red Sharpie, but I’m sure I’d unintentionally miss someone. It’s more important for me to mark them along the way by telling them that I praise God they’re in my life. How about you? Got a Sharpie dude? Start marking!