What Do They See When They Look At Me?
and be honest.
When was the last time you went down a different aisle at the grocery store simply to avoid having to talk with someone? Perhaps you like them, perhaps they're not your favorite. Nevertheless, for some reason you steer clear of an individual because “I just can’t deal with them today, Lord.”
Let’s consider the flip side to that scenario…
When is the last time that you suspected that someone ran away from you because they just didn’t want to deal with you? Especially the times when you have no clue why they seemed to have run away. But, what if they aren't really steering clear of you personally? What if they are actually avoiding Jesus - in you?
Yep, sometimes our presence serves as a reminder of Jesus – simply just for being.
How about this scenario...
You see someone at the store you haven’t seen in a while – maybe even a couple of years. You’re excited to see them and you even have the extra time to talk. As you approach them you are feeling so blessed to run into them, and then you hear them say, “I know, I know. We haven’t been to church in a long time. We’ve been ______.”
Ugh! I absolutely hate it when that happens.
My mind starts whirling. (I hate that. I’m not God. I’m not taking attendance. I just wanted to say Hi. I care about you! Can we just catch up?) But, my mouth says – “We have missed you. How are you? The kids? Work? How’s life?” Sometimes there is a fun conversation to be had, but more often an awkward exit takes place that seems more like they're fleeing from a fire.
Stunned and confused, I used to be utterly confused at this odd behavior. "Why did they act like they were at a confessional when they saw me? Is it because I’m the pastor’s wife?" I guess I'll never know for sure, but I think that in many cases my presence is just a reminder of Jesus. Seeing me triggered conviction. Not that I was accusatory or even had any thought of chastising them for their delinquency at church. Nope. When they saw me they were faced with their own absence before God in worship or maybe in their life as a whole.
While these brief encounters are often uncomfortable, they can actually be a reflection of a good thing. In Galatians 2:20 Paul states that “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Christ lives in me! Christ lives in you! If your presence reminds someone of Jesus, that is awesome!
In Matthew 5:16, Jesus called each of us to be lights in our world. He challenged us to “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” As believers, we’ve been called to shine our light – living out the message of Christ’s love to the world around us. Not to be seen in and of ourselves, but so that others will see our Savior!
So, the questions we must consider today are these:
Do they see Jesus in me?
Do they know they are loved by God because of my love for them?
This week, may we each purpose to let our light - Christ living in me - shine brightly. May we love others well and serve them for God's glory!
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for allowing us to reflect your light. Give us new eyes to see your work in our lives. Grant us courage of spirit and humbleness of heart to find our sense of purpose in You alone. To risk our lives and share your love with the world around us. Grant us hearts full of compassion so that we can love better. If our light has dimmed, may you fan that flame today. May our lights shine brightly into this dark world so that those around us will be drawn to You. Amen
**When you’ve got a minute, enjoy this music video and embrace God’s Spirit living in you today!