Give the world the best representation of Christ
I have heard parents say so often to their children, “You did this to yourself.”
Likewise, another common variation is, “You brought this on yourself,” or, “You got what you deserved.”
Even though it is blunt, in any variation, it is usually the truth. I started thinking in recent weeks about what the Christian has brought onto themself. In reading through social media posts and commentaries I have noticed that some Christians, not all Christians, are issuing battle cries, arguing hatefully with others, and acting in the same way as many non-Christians.
Here’s a thought for us today, maybe some Christians have helped to bring this on all Christians.
For those Christians who are fighting fire with fire, your method will not work. In fact, it is in practicing this method that has caused Christians to reach this point. Maybe instead of spending the last 10-50 years judging others, we should have been loving others. Maybe instead of striking people down over the way they live their lives we should have been showing them how their lives could be lived through Christ by our actions and words. Maybe instead of attacking the unbeliever, we should have been embracing the unbeliever.
When the world is rejecting Christ, my questions are, “How did we show them Christ?” and “What Jesus did they see in us?” For many in the world they have seen backbiting, hateful, judgmental, unforgiving and unloving Christians with no grace or mercy. As representatives of Christ, that in turn, is how they see Christ. So maybe in some ways for the Christians who are up in arms in our current times saying, “the world has kicked Christ out of the world,” they should stop and ask, “What Jesus have I shown them and what Jesus am I going to show them?”
“So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God! For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”-2 Cor. 5:20-21.
Christians represent Christ. They are the mouths, hands and feet of Christ in this world. Jesus spoke the truth. Jesus spoke His mind. Jesus stood up for what was right. Jesus challenged the authorities of His times. Jesus rallied people together. Jesus stood His ground for His beliefs and His calling. And Jesus did not hate, slander, curse, attack, destroy, or insult others in doing these things. He modeled for us how to live.
Let’s speak His mind, not ours. Stand for what He stood for. Challenge in His manner. Speak up for what God says is right. If you want to pick a side, pick Christ’s side. After all, if anybody is saying they are a Christian, they are saying they are Christ’s representative. Let’s give the world the best representation of the true Christ.
REV. BARRY VASSAR is pastor at Fitzgerald Memorial Baptist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.