What do they think from my outward appearance? Who do they think I am? What do they think I'm like? Am I friendly or do I appear stuck up? Do they think I'm mean or nice? Do they think I have a relationship in God? Do they see Jesus in me?
I absolutely love this Christian band named Colton Dixon and one of my favorite songs they play is "Let them see you in me". I want to share with you the lyric video and I encourage you to listen if you've never heard it before.
Sometimes I look at other people, and wrongly, I judge them. I say "Wow that wasn't very nice of them or considerate of them.. they are not really like Jesus. Or I say wow they are really nice but I feel like that's just niceness I don't see the Jesus part- do they really care about them?" I think to myself- they seem so stereotypical- conceited- they wear makeup- flirt with guys- go to class- do they really love Jesus?
Then other times there are those people that seem like their walk with God is so great. They are always upfront, always leading, always writing on facebook about their faith- and then I see them do something wrong or talk about someone behind their back- and it frustrates me so much. It makes me angry and I'm like "you hypocrite".
But the scary thing is the way I look at other people is often how people are probably looking back at me. I mean I probably seem pretty normal too, I'm not overly friendly, if I'm in a hurry or anxious about a test I'm probably not that considerate, and on special occasions I wear make up and flirt with guys ;) I often wonder if people can really see anything different about me compared to the average person in the world who doesn't know god.
It made me really sad the other day because I told this guy that I worked at summer camp and he was like oh ya how is the spirituality there? And I made a joke and said that I was spiritual director (because I am). And he jokingly replied "Obviously not very spiritual then". Ouch! And I'm pretty sure he was just kidding- but it made me think...
I mean this guy has no idea about my faith. He knows me but we've never had those deep spiritual conversations- and often you don't have those with your everyday friends- so how would he know how my walk with God is?
How do we know? How can we tell someone who truly loves God apart from others who are just faking? Can other people see Jesus in me? And what can I do to be a better example of Him so that people can see I am a genuine person who really does care about God and wants to witness to them.
I love the book of First John when it talks about walking in the light and I think this is one of the clearest ways God explains sin and righteousness and how we should be able to discern a true believer apart from the world.
First John 2:3-6 says that this about the test of truly knowing God "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says "I know Him" and does not keep His commandments is a liar and the truth is not in Him. But whoever keeps His word truly the love of God is perfected in Him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says He abides in Him ought himself to walk just as He walked.
Wow, I just find that so powerful.
1. If we love God we will be pure- we will walk like Christ- we will act like Jesus and talk like Jesus with the people we come in contact with.
2. If we continue sinning.. we do not know God. When we tell others I'm a Christian.. we take the responsibility of bearing Jesus' name and His character- and when we misrepresent Him- we can hurt other people's relationships with Christ.
I think a second way that we can see God in someone is their genuine love for each other. If you watch the way someone treats the unloved or the unpopular "the least of these" you can learn alot about if their love is genuine. God commands us to love the unlovable even when it gets messy and love is such a beautiful gift He gave to us and demonstrated by sending His only son on the cross.
I know that I am sinful and that at times others will not be able to see Jesus in me. But I also know that Jesus wants to use me- even though I am unworthy- and He wants to use you too- to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, and in Judea, and in Samaria, and all the earth. That verse can mean in Jerusalem (your hometown with your closest family and friends), Judea (your neighborhood- those people you say hi too on the promenade), Judea (other Americans whom you may encounter at different times), and in all the earth (if you get to travel to be a missionary).
I don't think that on our own we really can be Jesus to other people. I think that people can only see Jesus through us.. when we let God work and we let Jesus reveal Himself through us. We're not gonna be superheros. We are weak, sinful human beings. But when we pray to God- Lord do your will in me and let me be a light in a dark universe for your glory, I believe He hears us and this is His desire for us to shine for Him. So may this be our prayer in Christ that He transforms us every day, teaches us who He is, and helps others to see His face and love through our sinful flesh. Thank you Jesus for being a God of love, passion, and mercy who never leaves us nor forsakes us.