God's word in today's world

By our way of doing

I heard a report on the radio about the IT world where it was found that South Africans were among the rudest people on digital platforms. I could hardly believe it. So, I Googled it and it was true! The study was done by Microsoft’s digital civility division. South Africa came 22nd out of 23 countries where people act rudely and disrespectfully on social media. Not good news, since it damages the reputation of all South Africans.

All of us belong to various groups and what you do in the group, gives others an idea of the values of the group. What we as Christians illustrate to others what Christians look like. Some Christians sometimes give the group a bad name.

It’s always interesting to see how much colleagues know about one another. Even if you are not the main man around, you can know that colleagues watch one another. They even know if you follow Jesus without you necessarily saying it in so many words. The question then is: Do you paint such a good picture of Jesus that others want to meet Him too?

Therefore, the instruction: 1Whoever is a slave must make the best of it, giving respect to his master so that outsiders don’t blame God and our teaching for his behaviour.

We must stand up for what we believe in. We must show others what it means to follow Jesus. And we must do it in such a way that they feel like doing it too.

Like Coen (not his real name):

Years ago, when I was still on active service, we did a two-month camp on the border at Ondangwa in the north of Namibia.

Our officers’ mess was well decorated with pictures of scantily dressed girls attracting the usual comment at meal times.

One day when I could no longer take it, I, a junior officer, confronted the commanding officer.

I asked him: “Commandant, if one of these girls were YOUR wife or YOUR daughter, would you be happy to discuss her in the way that you are discussing these girls? Would you be happy to have HER picture posted on a wall at an officers’ mess for everyone to enjoy and to marvel about?”

There were a few seconds of absolute silence … I expected an enormous explosion for daring to take on the commanding officer like that. But eventually he admitted that it was the wrong thing to do and ordered the pictures to be removed.

A few days later a fellow officer came to me and admitted that my comment had opened his eyes and that he had decided to change his life from then on.  

By Coen taking a stand for what is right in his workplace and speaking out about it, someone repented. This made the angels sing with joy.

May this motivate all of us. May we do things in such a way that God is seen, where we play, with our friends, and also at work. Maybe one day we will be as privileged as Coen to hear that someone came to God as a result of our way of doing.

1 Timothy 6:1-2

What do your colleagues say about your way of doing?
Can they see Jesus in it?
Does it pull them closer?

Jesus, please help me to paint a good picture of You in all circumstances. Remind me every day how I can purely reflect your image to the people I live and work with. Amen.

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