Girlfriends in God - May 28, 2008

May 28, 2008

Putting the Saints into Circulation

Sharon Jaynes


Today’s Truth

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth” (even in restaurants, the grocery store, and the gym) (Acts 1:8 NIV)


Friend to Friend

Oliver Cromwell was a political and military leader in Great Britain in the mid 1600s. During his reign, the government began to run low on silver for coins. He sent his men to the local cathedral to see if they could find any precious metals. They reported that “the only silver we could find is in the statues of the saints standing in the corners.” Cromwell replied, “Good! We’ll melt them down and put them into circulation!”


What a splendid idea! Put the saints into circulation! Paul, when writing to the churches, always referred to Christian as “saints.” How fitting that we be “melted down and put into circulation,” dispensing encouraging words like treasured coins into the heart pockets of a hurting world.


I am convinced that a buffet of ministry exists in restaurants. If ever there was a place where the saints are put into circulation, it is at eating establishments. Americans eat out more than any time in our country’s history, so let’s look at this mission field being served up every day. Here are two scenarios to ponder:


Scenario One:

The waiter was haughty, harried, and hurried. Our very presence seemed to be an inconvenience to his evening. His body language shouted, “What do you want. I’m in a hurry. Be quick about it. I don’t like you and I don’t want to be here.” So I decided to try a little experiment.


“You sure are busy tonight,” I said as he plopped our drinks on the table.


“Yep,” he replied.

“I bet you’re going to sleep well tonight,” I continued.


“Yep,” he again replied.


“I’ve been watching you scurry around from table to table. You’re doing a great job.”


Then the waiter looked me in the eye for the first time, stood a bit straighter, and unwrinkled his brow.


When he returned to the table, I continued my experiment. “How long have you been working here?” I asked.


“About four months,” he replied. “I had been working in the corporate world and needed to get off the tread mill…the rat race. This is a different type of pressure, but I’ve lost thirty pounds and feel better than I’ve felt in years. I’m thinking about going back to culinary school in the fall.”


“That sounds like a wonderful idea,” I said. “I bet you’d be great at it.”


He smiled and turned away. Someone noticed that he was more than a waiter…he was a person.


The waiter who gave us our tab at the end of the meal was not the same man who took our order an hour before. Oh, he had on the same clothes, wore the same name tag, and served the same station. But the frustrated cold waiter who sloshed our iced tea on the table had warmed into a cheerful young man. That’s the power of a woman’s words.


Scenario Two:

The restaurant was bustling with activity. We bowed our heads to pray as the uncomfortable waitress stood to the side holding a basket of bread. We said our “amens,” and she politely placed the basket on the table and scurried away.


It didn’t take long before one of the women in our group began to complain. I knew her propensity to grumble and held my breath. The rolls were cold, the meat was tough, the knife had a spot on it, and where was the ketchup anyway! Several times, she pestered the waitress with her nitpicky criticism. I wished we had not prayed. I didn’t want anyone observing the critical spirit to know that we were representatives of Jesus Christ.


We can all do Jesus a favor. The next time we go out to eat, whether it is a McDonald’s or Morton’s of Chicago, we can represent Jesus well. We can use our words to make those around us hungry and thirsty to know the hope that is within us. May our compliments flow and grateful spirits nurture their soul.


We are saints (Philippians 1:1, Ephesians 1:1) and we have been put into circulation. What will the watching world think of the One we represent?


Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Help me to use my words well as I represent You today. I pray that I will be an encourager who uses her words to build up rather than tear down, to encourage rather than discourage, and to cheer rather than jeer. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in Your sight.

In Jesus’ name



Now it’s Your Turn

This is a simple assignment. The next time you go to a restaurant, I want you to be very intentional about blessing the waitress or waiter with your words. Then I want to hear about it! Please e-mail me at and tell me what happened.


More from the Girlfriends

There are few forces more powerful than the words we speak. Our words become the mirror in which others see themselves. If you would like to learn more about how to use your words for good and tame the tongue, see Sharon’s book, The Power of a Woman’s Words. And for a deeper look into what God’s Word has to say about our words, see The Power of A Woman’s Words Bible Study Guide.



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Originally published Wednesday, 28 May 2008.