"In the eyes of the world, it is not our relationship with Jesus Christ that counts; it is our resemblance to him!" ~Ray Stedman/Charles Swindoll
When you read the quote above, especially the last part of the quote, do you agree with the author or disagree? Why did you answer the way you did?
I decided to join the cafe chat at the Internet Cafe today....
This quote has shown true in our lives. I've found that our neighbors don't really give a rip if we go to church on Sundays and Wednesday...and trust me they do notice this weekly event. They realize we are different in how we deal with things.
For example, recently several of our neighbors have been upset (okay, irate) with a new neighbor who keeps calling the fire dept. about their little bbq fire pits. They were upset that he hadn't come over to address it himself but had taken the "chicken expletive" way out and called the authorities. They wanted us to join in their tirade. They were surprised that while we agreed with the seeming unfairness, we suggested peaceful solutions. I suggested going over and kindly and calmly apologizing for any discomfort he had experienced breathing and requesting that in the future these things could be resolved without contacting the authorities but by simply asking them to put it out. This was met with silence for a few minutes. They asked, "Why should I humble myself to this bleep bleep?" My answer was, "Why not? What will you lose in humbling yourself and building good future relations with your neighbors?" While they didn't disagree...it was obvious this wasn't an option for them...One guy (the most angry...who seriously suggested smashing a window) snorted and said, "Ya'll really ARE different!" He smiled and went home. He cares about us...it's mutual now...but he sure doesn't understand us....we're different. That's great!
I hope these opportunities...mixed in with the Christmas gifts and Halloween/Harvest discussions...open up doors to explain why I'm different. This year we got a card back about three months after Christmas...from a lady on our cul-de-sac who wanted us to know that the Christmas gift had changed her outlook. It sounded like she'd lost her job (as many are) and was thinking there was no hope for her. She mentions how she turned back to God for guidance and leading. Praise God for how He worked in our example. In this small way of caring we resembled Christ...and reminded her of His precious gift to her!
Matt 5:14-16 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
I'm not sure the quote by Stedman/Swindoll is quite right however...because our relationship with Christ does matter. We'd better be investing time in growing and reading and studying His Word. The eyes of the world won't see us resembling Christ if we don't have a good relationship with Him! We must spend time talking to him in prayer! I believe it also matters how we get along as Christians...something most churches fail miserably at...and why we're referred to as a bunch of hypocrites by many of our neighbors.
John 13:35 "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
This cafe chat quote is definitely good food for thought. It is good to truly keep WWJD in your mind...and always be striving to imitate him in your daily walk. We surely don't want to be communicating to the world that we have a relationship with him without also resembling him!
Eph. 5:1-2, "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."