Setting a Christian Example

By now, most people, at least here in the U.S., have heard about the uproar over the beliefs of the owner of Chick-fil-A.  In a recent interview, Dan Cathy, the president of Chick-fil-A, spoke about the business their family built, and their Christian approach to the business.  Toward the end of the interview, Mr. Cathy made a couple of statements that ignited a nationwide debate over the family and marriage.  Here’s how the interview went:

“Some have opposed the company's support of the traditional family. "Well, guilty as charged," said Cathy when asked about the company's position.
"We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives.  We give God thanks for that.
"We operate as a family business ... our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single.  We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that," Cathy emphasized.
"We intend to stay the course," he said.  "We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”

Many people later labeled Mr. Cathy and the Chick-fil-A organization as “anti-gay”. (Interestingly, notice from the above interview that Mr. Cathy only said he is pro-family, and holds to the Biblical view of marriage and family, but I digress.) This led a man named Adam Smith (no relation) to visit a Chick-fil-A drive-thru on “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day”, where he berated the lady who took his order. Unfortunately for Mr. Smith, he also posted a video online and was fired from his job as a result. Positively, Mr. Smith has since recorded another video where he apologizes to the lady who took his order.

This brings me to the point of this article.  The lady’s name is Rachel, and if you watch Mr. Smith’s video of him berating Rachel and Chick-fil-A, you’ll see that she never loses her cool, and treats him with kindness.  Recognizing this, in his apology video Mr. Smith says, “You [Rachel] handled my frustrating rant with such dignity and composure every time I watch the video I’m blown away by really the beauty of what you did and your kindness and your patience.”

It turns out that Rachel is a Christian.  In an interview after this incident occurred, Rachel said, “I was just really concerned about him taping.  I knew he was going to post it.  That was my main fear,” Rachel said.  “I’m Christian and God tells us to love thy neighbor,” she added referring to how she kept the exchange polite on her end.”

What a great example Rachel is for all people, but especially believers.  Rachel’s behavior brings to mind 1 Peter 3, where we read:

8 To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 9  not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. 10 For, “The one who desires life, to love and see good days, Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.  11 “ He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it.  12 “ For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, And His ears attend to their prayer, But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”  13  Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.”

In Rachel’s behavior, not only did she bring Mr. Smith to shame, but she glorified God.  This should be an encouragement for all of us, to follow her example, as she was obviously following the example of our Lord.  And let’s encourage each other to good works, just as we read in Hebrews 10:  “23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”

One last thing.  Mr. Smith originally wanted to meet personally with Rachel to apologize.  She could not meet with him initially, but does plan on meeting with him soon.  In her interview, she said she wanted to let Mr. Smith know why she handled the situation the way she did.  Pray for Rachel that she would have the boldness to share the gospel with Mr. Smith.  Assuming he is not a believer, pray that the Lord will open his heart that he, too, may glorify God and give Him thanks for the salvation that we now enjoy.  Pray also that the Lord would quickly provide another job for Mr. Smith.