Wednesday, February 24, 2016

You Are Being Watched....

“You are being watched.” This is the opening line of a good guys vs. bad guys TV show Chad and I watch. Do you ever feel that way in your daily Christian life? If you don’t you probably should!

Our extended family took a vacation together last week. I was reminded of how we’re being watched through an encounter with a new person. In the course of our trip, I met Matias, an employee at the hotel where we were staying. We had a conversation for a few minutes, and at the end of it, he said “you’re the nicest person I’ve met all day. It’s been nice talking with you.” A bit later, I returned with Josh, my brother-in-law. Matias got a funny look on his face. “You two are related? Truly, you have a unique family. In all the people I’ve met today you two have stood out as the kindest.”  

In a funny way, it made me a little sad, as I don’t think that our interaction had been all that unique or memorable- just friendly. I remember walking away and praying for him, knowing that the difference he was seeing in us was the fruit of the spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Those responses are every Christian’s calling.

These qualities were put to the test the next day. A mistake was made that affected us, and although it wasn’t our friend Matias’ fault, he would likely hear about our attitude in dealing with the situation. I was keenly aware of WHOSE character I was reflecting in that situation, and I know it impacted my actions. I was not just representing my earthly family, but more importantly, the family of God. Would I choose to respond selfishly or in a Christ-like manner?

To me, a vital part of living out Faith@Home is remembering that as Christ followers we are all being watched by the world around us. How we respond to situations in everyday life is so important.

As Paul writes in Ephesians 4:1-5:
"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."  

A modern writer, Jen Hatmaker, puts it this way in her book “For the Love, Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards”:

"A worthy life involves loving as loved folks do, sharing the ridiculous mercy God spoiled us with first. (It really is ridiculous.) It means restoring people, in ordinary conversations and regular encounters. A worthy life means showing up when showing up is the only thing to do. Goodness bears itself out in millions of ordinary ways across the globe, for the rich and the poor, the famous and unknown, in enormous measures and tiny, holy moments. It may involve a career and it may not. It may include traditional components and it may not.”

This week I urge you to live a life worth of the calling you have received. A life where the fruit of the Spirit is evident in your interactions with others. Remember, you are being watched!

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