Be Yourself

I read the other day about the American musician George Gershwin. He idolized Irving Berlin. Gershwin was a struggling composer, getting about $35 a week in New York City’s tin-pan-alley, and Berlin noticed him. He offered him a job as his musical secretary at three time $35 a week. But he said, “George, I advise you not to take this job, because if you do, you will become a second-rate Irving Berlin. But, if you say to yourself, “I, George Gershwin, am unique, and I’ll be nobody else but George Gershwin,’ you can become immortal.” And that was exactly what he did.

A while back, I watched the life story of Willie Mays on television. He is one of the greatest athletes baseball has ever produced. But he wasn’t always like that. He idolized Joe DiMaggio. He watched how DiMaggio stood, how he walked, how he swung the bat, how he ran; he tried his best to be another DiMaggio. Finally, some wise coach said to him, “Willie, you have great ability. Don’t be like anybody else. Be yourself.” And he became Willie Mays. If you were to name the greatest baseball players in the history of baseball, no list would be complete without the name of this man who became himself.


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The Hands of Christ

During the Second
World War, a church in Strasbourg was destroyed. After the bombing, the members
of this particular church went to see what was left and found that the entire
roof had fallen in, leaving a heap of rubble and broken glass. Much to their
surprise, however, a stature of Christ with outstretched hands that had been
carved centuries before by a great artist was still standing erect. It was virtually
unharmed except that both hands had been sheared off by a falling beam. The
people hurried to a sculptor in town and asked if he could replace the hands
of the statue. He was willing, and he even offered to do it for nothing. The
church officials met to consider the sculptor’s proposition – and decided not
to accept his offer. Why? Because they felt that the stature without hands would
be the greatest illustration possible that God’s work is done through His people.

In a very real
sense that’s true. Jesus Christ chooses human hands. Sometimes they seem to
be the most infirm hands, the least potentially successful hands, or the least
qualified hands – but those are the hands He uses.

_______________________
Sermon’s Illustrated


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