Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
When you are out in public, at your job or school, or at home, how do you comport yourself? Do you behave in ways that signal to others that you are a Christian, putting into practice what you believe? Are you loving others as you love yourself? I like to think most of us, despite our occasional relapses and pitfalls, act in such a way as to awaken in others a desire to have what we have: kindness; mercy; generosity; peace, and joy.
My most difficult challenge in displaying a Christian attitude toward others is when I'm driving and someone does something dangerously stupid like cutting me off or honking at me because they think I'm not moving fast enough when the light changes. How quickly I forget the sticker on my back window which reads "Forgiven by Jesus" as a torrent of accusations and reprimands pour forth and gestures communicate everything but love and understanding. I am, at those moments, miles away from modeling the behaviors Jesus expects from me in all situations. Once the rage subsides, I am always quick to ask forgiveness and, though He gives it, He gently reminds me that it is the offended party, now long gone, of whom forgiveness should have been asked. Regrettably, I can't take back a lost opportunity to show God's mercy.
We need to be ever mindful that having an "I love Jesus" bumper sticker on our car or wearing a cross around our neck doesn't make us Christians just as standing in a garage doesn't make us cars. These are just trappings which can too easily trap us and lull us into religious complacency. We are, instead, to boldly be for the world outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual grace. It is then the nations will know we are Christians by our love and declare, "The Lord has done great things for them". Amen
Psalms (120), 121, 122, 123, or 124, 125, 126, (127)
2 Samuel 18:9-18
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