“It is no use walking aywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.”
~Francis of Assisi~
We were on our way to church one Sunday morning and approached the large roundabout near our house that gets onto the main thoroughfare through town. The car that entered the roundabout just in front of us was tentative. Maybe it was the traffic or a new area or maybe he was just a tentative driver. I don't know, but I was about to make a comment to German about how unsure person seemed. At that moment a car weaved in between us and the slower car, the driver waving his arms and clearly irritated. The (now) middle car pulled into the inside lane, driver and passengers still waving their arms and yelling, then it immediately pulled in front of the slower car straight across that lane into the outside lane and made a turn. A turn into a church. All of this took place in about 1000 yard space of road. Yelling and waving arms at a slower vehicle in order to save 2 minutes to get into church--well before church time. *sigh*
It made me wonder what the poor nervous driver thought. I wondered what he would think if later in the week someone tried to tell him about Jesus or invited him to church. Would he remember the rudeness and impatience of that Sunday morning driver? Would it turn his thoughts away from anything church related? I hope that he had more positive experiences with Christians than that example.
We are always on-the-job-representatives of Christ. If we carry the name Christian, if we attend church, if we claim any part of his body we are representing him at all times. Our actions and attitudes (ouch) and behaviours are under scrutiny by those around us who want to know if we are 'for real.' If our life is not lived in integrity with what we plan to preach, there is little reason to start speaking.
That doesn't mean we won't make mistakes and that people won't see us in our humanity. But our response to our sinful actions and attitudes speaks much louder than our condemnation of theirs. If we are honest and repentant when we mess up others are more apt to listen to us. We need to be real. We need to live with integrity. Anything we say should just be explanation to the life that is already seen.
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:17-18
Father God convict me when my walk does not match what I profess. Show me the hypocricies which I allow into my life. Help me to acknowledge the truth of those inaccuracies and to change. Let my life be my witness and my words simply be explanations of what is already seen. Amen.
My friend Tami at The Next Step is our hostess this week. I know you will be blessed if you visit today.