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Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.” So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them. Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. Meanwhile he stayed in Joppa for some time with a certain Simon, a tanner.
Our Own Importance
I’ve often written about how we tend to overemphasize our own importance. And in general, I believe that’s true. I mean, arrogance has become a popular characteristic, and we’re allowed ourselves to be deceived by people who are constantly telling us how great they are. We believe what they say, as though their words make it true even though their actions don’t. And far too often we tend to see ourselves as the center of the universe, and we expect others to sacrifice themselves for our sakes. And of course this is a problem. You see, when we assume that our ideas, opinions and assumptions should never be questioned much less modified, we set ourselves up for disappointment when the situations themselves show us that we’re really not as smart as we think we are. In our world, it’s easy to develop an inflated view of our own importance.
But there’s one area where we might be timid when boldness is more appropriate. And it centers around sharing the good news of Jesus Christ to those around us. For whatever reason, we pull back when we could move forward. And that’s a real shame, because God has given us all the tools to do the job, in other words, to be his witness to the world. For example, he gave Peter the ability to raise Dorcas from the dead, a power that Jesus demonstrated during his time on earth and which now rests on the church. Still, it’s up to us to decide that we’re going to use the power that we’ve been given. And if we do, as the Body of Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we can change the world, and I think that’s important in anyone’s book.