I have been thinking quite a bit about the kind of person other people see when they encounter me.
What kind of impression do I give off?
Do others leave an encounter with me feeling better or worse?
I think those are valid questions we all should ask ourselves. I have a college student who had an encounter with a person at work. This person was unhappy, belligerent and rude but upon leaving the store felt the need to say “God bless you” to my student. An encounter like that can leave a sour taste in your mouth, especially if you feel like they would have considered themselves a believer in Christ, yet the actions didn’t line up with the words spoken.
What do your words and actions say about who you are?
1 John 2:1-6 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
I like those words at the end, whoever says he abides in Jesus ought to walk in the same way in which Jesus walked. I don’t think it gets any more simple than that.
Picture this: You are one of a handful of disciples following a particular rabbi in 30 AD. You walk everywhere your rabbi walks, trying to be as close to him as you can. So close, in fact, the dust from his sandals is all over the front of your feet and your cloak. The reason you walk so close to him is to hear everything he says. You try to imitate his gait, his speech pattern, you try to think and reason the way he thinks and reasons. Because your ultimate goal is to walk with God just like your rabbi walks with God. So you don’t want to miss anything he says… ever. You eat when he eats and you sleep when he sleeps, trying to imitate everything he does. Those were the marks of a good disciple. It is no wonder John says if we know His teachings (commands) we know Him. And whoever abides in Jesus will walk in the same way he walked.
Gandhi is reported to have said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone said “I think Jesus was in my life today” because they met you? I think that’s what we are called to be, a disciple in whom others would see the qualities of Jesus.
Make this your prayer this week, Father, help us learn to walk as Jesus walked.