The pictures we make
Right at the start of his letter to the people of Colossae Paul expressed his amazement. He takes his hat off to this group of young Christians who after hearing the Gospel felt compelled to grab hold of it, to believe in a living God. And they kept holding on. Against all the odds stacked against them. Even though the people around them didn’t believe. Even though they were mocked, they kept holding on, because they knew it was the truth.
And the result of their faith and holding on? That God’s name was glorified: 3Our prayers for you are always spilling over into thanksgivings. We can’t quit thanking God our Father and Jesus our Messiah for you!
Do you realize what Paul is actually saying here? If these people could keep believing under those circumstances, there must be a God. They couldn’t make it on their own; they were too lightweight for that. How they kept on believing and living in very poor circumstances tells the story of an almighty God who stands behind them and makes everything come true.
In the same way, each of us tells a story. The way in which we live paints a picture. Yes, everything in our lives are included in this picture. What we like and don’t like. Our roots and where we come from. Our personalities and the impact we make in the world.
Without realising it, the way each of us lives life paints a picture. Actually, we open our hearts and show the people around us what it looks like inside. Sorry to say, it’s not always a very beautiful picture.
I saw a picture of a shop owner in town that makes me feel sick. I was standing in line behind a client who had received a call to come and pick up his product. The sales assistant told him that unfortunately someone else had given the item to another client by mistake. The man was upset and asked to speak to the owner. He had driven far to come and pick up the product. The owner refused to speak to him. After the man continued to insist on it, the owner stormed out and shouted at the client that if he did not leave the store immediately, he would call security to remove him.
I was flabbergasted. No, I was shocked. It was the owner’s people who had made the mistake. The owner should have apologised and made special arrangements to get the product to the client at his own cost.
For me as client that owner painted a very ugly painting that made me sick.
So different from the people of Colossae. Their picture moved Paul to praise God. The net effect of the people of Colossae was that God’s Name was glorified. There must be a God. Yes, there must be a God if those people could believe. That is why I honour God. That is why I’m compelled to believe in the existence of an almighty God. Glorified be his Name!
And as I sit smiling because of the beautiful picture of the people of Colossae, I wonder what the picture of God looks like when people look at me. Does my picture resemble that of the people of Colossae or more like the shop owner?
Wow, I wonder what my picture looks like and if it glorifies God. And you? What does your picture look like?
Do you realize that you are busy painting a picture?
What do other people see when they look at you?
Are you satisfied with the picture?
Father, sometimes my picture doesn’t look good. Sometimes I know people cannot see You. Please forgive me. Please forgive me for not helping people to sing praises to your Name. Amen