Last week as I was walking back to my office from lunch, I saw what appeared to be a grandfather and granddaughter walking together (this man looked about in his early 70's and the little girl about 4 or 5 years old). When we approached the intersection I heard him say to the little girl "look, the light is red". I thought- 'oh, how sweet he's teaching her how to cross the street'. Just as I finished that thought, with her hand in his, he hurriedly crossed the street even though the light was red. I just stood on the sidewalk looking at them "running" across the street against the light. When the light turned green I proceeded to walk thinking "he just confused that little girl. Now she's going to think red means 'go'". Honestly, I thought it was irresponsible of him and was very quickly moving into "judgement zone" when the Holy Spirit interrupted my thoughts and told me "that's how the Christians are". Huh? He began to minister to me by telling me "the world is looking at Christians and they are getting a confused message too because your words and your actions are not lining up". You know, when the Holy Spirit convicts you, you stop judging other people VERY quickly!!! He's so right (of course!)!! As Christians, we can tell people what the Bible says and what is and is not sin, but we are also supposed to LIVE the Bible.
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.
My Pastor, Dr. Mike Freeman has often said "more is caught then taught". Mothers understand this quite well: your children will catch everything you do...and then do it even if you tell them it's wrong!! LOL. It's not enough to have scripture memorized and go to church every Sunday, we have to show people Christ through loving, forgiving, being the peacemakers, getting to work on time, showing patience to others, being kind even to those who don't treat us well (or those who cut us off on the highway!!). That's the kind of stuff people actually pay attention to. People will remember our actions.
This weekend, the Holy Spirit reminded me of this when I went to Target. The lines were long due to the threat of snow and I just needed to pick up one thing: cat food. As I was on my way to make my purchased I realized the lines were MUCH longer than I thought. I figured I would go someplace else to get what I needed. So I put down the cat food next to the check out line and left. As I was leaving the Holy Spirit reminded me that I should have put the cat food back where it belonged. I wish I could say I did...but I didn't. No big deal right...wrong. I forgot I was wearing something that had scripture written on it. So as I was leaving, people could see that scripture on my back and they saw my action of putting that cat food in the wrong place. That was a mixed message that I sent! That was NO different than what that grandfather did with that granddaughter. Talk about conviction!
As Christians, we are the light in this world. We have to illuminate God's word everyday through our actions. People are watching our actions more than we realize! We represent the Kingdom of God. Thank God for the Holy Spirit who dwells within us and helps us to represent Christ in every area of our lives! Let's get re-committed to living our life in a way that is consistent with the Word of God so others will desire to know the God we know.
God bless you. Stay encouraged.