Better pictures for the world
People look at one another. You quickly form an opinion of people by watching how they behave and what they say. Right or wrong, you get a picture of other people even without them saying a word.
Let’s take the big sports fans. If you know a bit about soccer, you’ll know it’s the Man United fans jumping up and down when you see the red flags waving. If up North you are driving behind a light blue truck and see a set of items hanging from the tow bar, you’ll know what rugby team that driver plays for.
You haven’t spoken to either of them, but you actually know a lot about him or her by how they behave.
People look Christians up and down too. They quickly form an opinion about us and will soon see whether or not we are a church person, as they say. Without talking to us at all.
The question we should ask is whether we’re giving them the right things to build a beautiful picture of us. Does our God’s Word live there where we interact with others in life or are we making a mess of it? Is the following statement true about what we do? 5We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.
I shudder, thinking about the times I might have lived an ugly or false picture of God’s Word out there in the world and now people could be laughing at God’s Word.
I suspect we’ve all made mistakes like these. It’s human and it’s no use now hiding in the corner somewhere suffering from an inferiority complex.
We should rather go and find Jesus’ cross. In a way, we have to admit our inability to paint a lovely picture in the world at the cross. And we have to put the bag of sin we have earned with this, at the cross. Yes, admit it and leave it there.
And then we have to get up with gratitude and try again with everything inside to live a better, real picture of God’s Word in the world. You see, when we are moved by gratitude, we want to live God’s will. We will succeed in doing it better with the Holy Spirit’s help. The picture that the world will see of us will be so beautiful that it will attract them and they will want to be like that too.
Then God’s Word will not be ridiculed. On the contrary!
My wife was talking to a Jew in Israel. He said that we as Christians who enjoy Jesus’ love and freedom, were indeed instructed in the Bible to show that freedom to others. Others should actually be jealous of us who had discovered the answer and the Answer. But the Jew concluded with the words: “But you failed”.
But he’s right.
May God help us to live and behave differently. May we show better pictures of God and his Son and their love and mercy to the world, so that people cannot ridicule God’s Word.
What picture do other people see of the way you live?
How do others receive God’s Word because of your life?
What do you have to do differently?
Father, You are amazing. You make such a big difference in my life. If it wasn’t for You, I wouldn’t make it. Thank you for dying on the cross for me. But I remain weak. Please help me to chase after Your Word because I am grateful to You. Please help me make everything in it a reality in my life. May others see a better picture of Your Word because Your Spirit is shining through me. I ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.