Going My Way

On Christmas night, The wife and I watched Going My Way, starring Bing Crosby.

I had seen parts of it before but never all the way through. It’s a wonderful, uplifting movie about a young Catholic priest (Crosby) sent to an old church on the decline. Crosby’s mission is to turn things around and save the church.

With his warm smile, spectacular voice and winning ways Crosby (Father O’Malley) transforms the community and then makes his tear-jerking exit.

The movie is a classic. It won seven Oscars, including a best actor for Crosby. I’m guessing it inspired many to the priesthood and ministry.

But as the movie ended and I contemplated what I had just seen, as I’m want to do following a good flick, I realized there was something missing, something really important.

You see, I’m not a particularly charismatic individual. My personality doesn’t just automatically win people over to my way of seeing things. Oh yeah, and I can’t sing.

So, what am I to do?  I want to see transformation and help bring about positive change in others’ lives. What are any of us, who aren’t Bing Crosby, to do?

Fortunately, I learned pretty early in my Christian walk that my ability to influence people was not dependent upon my personality or personal charisma, but on the Word of God.

Sure, a strong personality can bring about some change in other people’s lives, but real transformation comes from the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit in one’s life. And fortunately, my ability to speak God’s Word to someone is not dependent upon the strength of my personality, only my willingness to do so.

When I’ve had the privilege of leading people to the Lord, I’ve never been confused about the cause of their conversion. I’ve never thought I was so persuasive or charismatic that I influenced someone to die to themselves and serve Jesus. And that’s what gives me hope.

It gives me hope for me and for you that the ability to positively influence others is not dependent on one’s way but the Word. GS