I image many of you have driven “just a little” over the speed limit. Yet, if you see a police officer…you feel you should go the speed limit. Why is that? Well, for one she represents the law. On her own, she doesn’t have any power. But when she acts in her capacity as a law enforcement officer, things change. Whatever she does in her uniform reflects the police department. What does that have to with you? As a Christian, people look at you and judge Christians. People should change the way they act around you. They shouldn’t feel comfortable around you when they’re doing wrong things. For example, your friend is engaged in an extramarital affair. That friend shouldn’t get reassurances from you that his/her behavior is ok. That friend should have guilt or regret about his/her behavior. That friend should know that he/she can come to you for advice on how to get out of the mess they’re in. They should know you don’t condone immoral behavior.
You represent Christ. Even as a flawed individual, you still represent Christ. Although you will “mess up,” you represent Christ. Consequentially, we can’t say, “I can’t say anything about their sin since I sin also.” That’s an attempt to take the easy way out. Or, we might say, “I can’t judge people.” Judging? I’d submit to that Christian that they should read the Scripture some more. Scriptures encourages us to help our brother (sister) get away from their sin. Your friend might not know they are doing anything wrong. They need you to show them the far better way—the way of Christ.
Let your light shine this week
“The New Normal” is a new TV show. Another way of saying this is that the previous normal was insufficient. The title is a slap in the face of the traditional family unit. This is a Tipping Point (where the normal becomes abnormal and the abnormal becomes normal) that we now face. The show is about two gay men raising a family. This isn’t the only show airing that is contrary to our beliefs. I’m using it as an object lesson.
This brings us back to the beginning paragraph. If Christians do not stand up and say what they believe, no one will hear or know. It appears some Christians would rather not say anything because for fear of being labeled as “intolerant.” Tolerance doesn’t mean we have to lower or change our standards to accommodate some else’s beliefs. God’s standard doesn’t change because someone in my family or one of my friends believes otherwise or lives otherwise.
Admittedly, there are a lot of unbelievers who are kinder, more giving and more loving than some Christians. Ironically, this shouldn’t be the case since we represent God and God is love. But, it’s true some unbelievers do show more love than Christian. Yet, that doesn’t mean we should change our standards because people in society are at times kinder and nicer than some Christians.
Many people have the misunderstanding that it’s the job of the minister to show people Christ. God put you in your school, job, family or neighborhood to interact with those people. Where you are (school, job, etc.) is where your ministry is located. Don’t think you have to be “perfect” to be a witness for Christ. I have a secret that I need to tell you. There was only one perfect person on earth and none of us fit that bill. Jesus is our example. Lets follow Him. As Christians, we strive to be perfect. We strive to be Holy just as God is holy.
So, what are you going to do about it? I encourage you to spend some time in prayer and ask God for direction. As my friend says, “prayer should be our first response, not our last resort.” Allow God to show you how to proceed. A few of my suggestions would be:
- Read the Word and adjust your life to what it says
- Remove anything out of your life that is contrary to the Christian lifestyle you say you believe in
- Speak up and tell people what a Christian is really about
- Pray more
- Study the Word more
- Forgive someone who has hurt you
- Write a letter to the TV stations that allow filth, profanity, immoral or anti-Christian views to be aired. A strong feeling about an issue is good. However, action to show the world your stance…the Christian stance is all together different.
Just like the police officer, you represent power and authority. The power and authority you represent is God. The image you represent is Christ. As a Christian, now is the time to show the world that we uphold and live the values we believe in. As you can see, the secular world has values we don’t believe in. Do not let the drumbeat of controversy hold you back from voicing the word of God.
Times are changing and they’re changing fast. The new normal is here. Change can hurt. If we don’t speak up, a lot of people will be hurt. People might gravitate to the unholy rather than the teachings of our Lord and Savior.