Every day we're all classified.
And in turn we classify the people around us
Writing labels in front of their faces.. Reputations to their names
From small situations we often draw big conclusions.
"LIKE" "DISLIKE" "ATHLETE" "SMART" "CHRISTIAN" "JERK" "RUDE" "SELFISH" "COOL" "Conservate" "Liberal" "Pretty" "Ugly" "Unpopular" "Popular"
And from these conclusions we decide if we would like to get to know a person and if we trust or respect them.
As a Christian, names have a special significance to us because we bear representation of the Holy one: Jesus Christ. When He mercifully writes his signature of blood, over our lives we began to live as a testimony of His love.
Unfortunately though, Satan works hard to destroy that mark, to confuse us with the rest of the world, and erase God's name and write his own name on our hearts and minds replacing service with selfishness.
One of my good friends is an atheist and she constantly shares with me that she doesn't see Jesus in the "Christians" around her. She doesn't find love. She doesn't find joy. She doesn't see peace. In fact she recently told me she believes she could be a more "spiritual" leader than the rest of them.
I think this is terribly sad and unfortunate but probably one of the biggest reasons people turn from their faith or decide not to pursue Christianity (because they see hypocrisy in the church).
Thus as Christians, the way people see us is important because they look at us and often decide if they want to get to know the God we serve based on the way we act.
The third tenth commandment asks us not to take the Lord's name in vain. This goes beyond simply not swearing or saying OMG to realizing that we are witnesses for Christ and people are watching us. This is a high responsibility to bear the name of Jesus- not something that we deserve to bear- nor can ever demonstrate on our own but only by the grace of God.
I know for me, I have misrepresented Jesus many times. In fact,we have all hurt His name. And we may have hindered relationships that could be heavenly and risked lives for the kingdom. Yet because of God's mercy, I have also led many friends and campers to accept Christ into their life and to receive peace in times of need. Only by Christ's mercy may people see the light of life and love that has transformed our hearts.
Sometimes we will be misclassified by the world and sometimes even other Christian's may label us wrongly. Ultimately we must remember that we are striving to please God not man.
Classifications are shallow. Names can be changed.
But the forgiveness of Christ is everlasting.
May we stop judging others before we get to know them.
May we stop choosing our friend group and who we will reach out too and may we start loving the people around us.
In God's classification system, we are all sinners and we are all his beloved children who He wants to save because of His grace.