My boys are big sports fanatics, so instead of relaxing this first week of summer vacation we are going back and forth to basketball camp and baseball practice/games. At least they aren't bored, right?
Yesterday, I was sitting in the bleachers waiting for my youngest, Brody, to finish up. From behind me I heard this woman talking to her son. She was complaining and criticizing the camp. I have no idea who the woman was, but I do know that she did not seem to be very happy.
The Bible tells us that man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart. The thing is though that the only way people have to know we are Christians is by our actions and words. The fruit of our lives gives them a picture not only of our hearts but also of who God is.
My impression of the woman behind me wasn't a positive one, to be honest. My first thought was that she would be difficult to get along with. I have no idea if that is actually true - she could be the nicest person ever. But her complaining and criticism gave me a picture of who she was - right or wrong though that picture might be.
It hit me, as I sat there, that people watch us. They watch us when we are not aware we are being watched. How do I act? Am I negative, complaining or critical? Or do I radiate God's joy and love? How do I treat workers at stores that might not be so polite? How do I treat the waitress at the restaurant who has too many tables and seems a bit slow in service? What is my reaction to the man who cuts me off in traffic?
It was a bit sobering to realize that people, including my own kids, form a picture of me based on my behavior and words. It is true that we can't be perfect and that we do not earn our salvation or earn more of God's love based on our actions. But it is equally true that our fruits or behavior/words give others the only picture they can really have of who we are, what we believe and often who God is. I am praying that God makes my picture a true reflection of Him.
~ Blessings, Bronte