“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Philippians 1:27
What kind of impression am I making to those around me, those people I meet once in a while and those to whom I am close? Am I making a “God-impression”?
A God-impression is the effect I have on people’s opinions about God. As a Christian I’m a walking billboard — an advertisement — for Jesus. What my life says about Jesus is the God-impression I’m making on those who have never connected with God. I will either cause others to say of Christianity, “I want to know more” or cause them to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
When we proclaim in the workplace or in our homes that we are Christians, we immediately become the one others will watch to see what Jesus is like. You know something, Christians are the only people watched like this!
If someone says they are Hindu or Buddhist, people say, “Oh, ok,” and if the person stumbles, it’s perfectly all right. If you say you’re a Christian and make a mistake, people immediately say things like, “Ah, I thought you were meant to be a Christian.” That tells me we are authentic and we’re being watched!
And because we’re being watched we have to make sure we have a Christ-like attitude, consistent in our behaviour, speak encouraging words, respond lovingly and have a confident assurance that God is in control.
So how I react in circumstances is important, not only because it is an opportunity for God to reveal Himself to me, but also because people who do not know God personally are watching those of us who claim to know Him well.
When I was in my early 20’s, I was surprised to have someone come to me and say they had been watching me since I was a teenager and had made a profession of faith in Christ. This person was indeed positive there was something different about me, and they wanted to know Jesus the way I did and demonstrated. I had no idea this person knew my name, let alone that I was a Christian! I had certainly made my share of mistakes during those times, but it was how I handled those mistakes and my continued desire to follow Christ that convinced this person I was authentic and served a real God.
So, whether you acknowledge it or not, “Smile, you’re on candid camera!” Only this one changes lives!
Absolutely, albeit painfully, true! Constant, intense scrutiny and a high level of expectation. But who said that the Christian life was meant to be easy?
You have hit the nail right on the head!