When Isaac Watts’ guests visited his house, they admired the famous preacher and hymnwriter’s mantel as much as his music. Prominently displayed atop the mantel was a beautiful clock. All who saw the beautiful timepiece marveled at its craftsmanship and features.
As often as Watts’ guests expressed their admiration for his fine clock, Watts pointed out the fact the clock had one defect — it did not work. All of the painstaking details which contributed to its beauty were useless because the timepiece did not serve its purpose. The money which had been invested in the clock had been wasted. The clock was good for nothing (except perhaps as a conversation piece).
Christians should be more than conversation pieces in today’s world. When unsaved people observe us, they may respect us for our dress standards, academic credentials, the size and appearance of our buildings, our warm smiles, and friendly handshakes. But the main question they have is, does the clock work? Is there a distinction in our lifestyle? Does our conduct align with our conversation? When we’re put under pressure, do we really hold to our beliefs about Christ and the Bible, or do we compromise? The world expects Christians to look and operate a certain way. If our “clocks” don’t work, then we are essentially good for nothing.
Many people interact with Christians on a daily basis. They drive by our churches, serve us in restaurants, perform maintenance on our vehicles, attend our schools, live in our neighborhoods, and ride our trains to work. To them, Christians are simply ordinary people. There is only one way we can convince them otherwise — by the way we live and respond to the dilemmas of life. In other words, they should see that the clock works.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.