Being an advertisement
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During the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England we lost the first game against Japan. What a shock for all South Africans. Before the World Cup Heineke and Jean had promised that they would make us proud. Well, I have to confess – I hung my head in shame.
With the next match the Boks turned it around, played a good game with a very good score. South Africans could walk proudly again. But at the end of the game there was an extra man at the scrum. A South African in a Springbok rugby jersey who wanted to join in. The players tackled him quickly and he was led from the field. On his own the man from Boksburg embarrassed us South Africans all over again.
It didn’t matter that the man from Boksburg had been living in England for six years already, he was regarded as being a South African representative of all South Africans. Because every person is an ambassador for his or her country. Your conduct gives other people an idea of what your countrymen are like. Therefore, if you are friendly to visitors from another country, they will think South Africa is a country full of friendly people. And obviously the opposite is also true.
The same is true for Christians. We are ambassadors for God. We must know that people are watching us closely and that if we put a foot wrong, it will be screamed from the front pages of the newspapers the next day or whispered behind the hands of people all over the place.
Therefore, a clear warning: 27Meanwhile, live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ.
Another way to put it is that we are advertisements for God. That is easy to understand, we all know what an advertisement is, because advertising is all around us. They say South Africa has some of the best advertisements in the world, but it’s so frustrating when I’m watching something on TV and the programme is interrupted by an advertisement. But I do realize that is how they make their money.
In the same we are walking advertisements for God. We are his children and the way we do things will determine whether people are attracted to or pushed away from God. Wow, that’s a big responsibility. Yes, the Boks do have a responsibility to represent our country well. If they conduct themselves well and are good examples, they are good advertisements for South Africa and people would like to be identified with South Africa. But if you make yourself the laughing stock like the guy who ran on to the field during the match, everyone will boo you, leaving a bad taste.
Ok, let’s look at ourselves and the way we behave. How does your conduct advertise God? It’s a simple question: Does your conduct push people away or does it attract people to Jesus?
Many of us try our best to behave well. Many of us try to live like Jesus and to be a good advertisement for God, but man, sometimes we just don’t make it. Sometimes the advertisement doesn’t look so good. We must realize that sometimes we will do the wrong thing. We must be sensitive and ask the Holy Spirit to take us by the hand so that we can be a good advertisement in bad times as well. Yes, it’s easy to be a good advertisement when everything is going well, but when the whatchamacallit strikes the fan, that is when we have to try extra hard to be a good advertisement.
Do you know that you are an advertisement for God 24/7?
What does your advertisement look like?
Does it attract people to God?
Dear Lord, You equip us with everything that is needed to be a good advertisement for You. Please help us not to make your Name the laughing stock. Amen.