What Do I See in The Mirror?
It’s tempting -- to overlook or ignore character traits that hamstring our ability to reflect Christ’s love and goodness to others. As a follower of Christ, my conduct is to mirror Jesus -- not just my words.
In a letter to Timothy, Paul reminds him:
“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” -1 Timothy 4:12 (ESV)
I have listened to the disappointment of a person who was “burned” by the Church. Well-meaning followers of Jesus often fail to be loving, kind, or gentle. Our conduct always speaks louder than our words. And when our behavior fails to match our words, it’s unfortunate -- and painful.
When “burned once,” it’s tempting to brand ALL based on the behavior of some. It appears that there is a lot of “ALL branding” happening in our world today: ALL Republicans; ALL Democrats; ALL Christians; ALL ___________ (you fill in the blank)!
But before I judge ALL with the actions of a few, I need to look in the mirror. If I’m honest, I have to acknowledge that I also fail to reflect Christ’s characteristics as I desire. My words are worthwhile, but I’m continually having to “die to my flesh.”
“But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. - But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” - Galatians 5:15-17 (ESV).