Recently I had finished some shopping and was walking through the parking lot to my car. I spotted a man in the parking lot moving quickly to gather shopping carts that weren’t properly placed in storage locations. It was a very cold night and this man was moving pretty quickly.
I had a chance to talk with him and told him he should be commended for gathering all these loose carts on a cold night like this. In our discussion, this man said that he had been looking out the window of the store and saw the store manager in the parking lot gathering carts. This man said that if the store manager is out here doing this work he should be too. Now here is a lesson for all of us. A lesson not just in leadership but rather in our modeling of Christianity.
I frequently run into folks who tell me that they meet people who say they are followers of Christ but their life style says something different. People don’t want to follow poor examples of Christianity. You know what? I have to agree. I see these same people. People who profess to follow Christ but have no joy in their life. They complain about everything. They lie, tell off-color jokes, manipulate to get their own way, and the list could go on. In fact, with some of these professing Christians it’s hard to tell them apart from folks who claim no allegiance to the God of the Bible.
So let me take you back to the parking lot, the shopping carts, and the power of your example. When people see you do they notice something Christ-like about you? Like the shopping cart attendant watching his manager, do others see your Christian example and say, “I want what they have.” You see, when you claim to be a follower of Christ everyone is watching. Your co-workers are watching, your friends are watching, and your family is watching. You are the example and as a popular Christian song says, “you may be the only Jesus some people ever see”.
Am I saying you need to be perfect? Of course not. Nobody is perfect. Am I saying people should see Godly character in our lives? I sure am. Remember Matthew 7:16? Here is what is says:
You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act.
Together let’s make sure that people recognize us as followers of Christ by the way we act. Let’s not have others watch us and just shake their heads in disappointment. Instead let’s be examples of Godly character to everyone who sees us so that others say they want the power of God in their lives too.