"The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:40
This week has been interesting to say the least. God has done several things for me: in my oversleeping today thanks to all this lovely rain, I missed my ride to Atlanta for fellowship with our baby church, but I took the opportunity to go get a bike from the bike auction at school for $65 (altogether $135 for a new inner-tube and a major tune-up, I’m so excited!!). Before that though, He has clearly shown me in 3 dating scenarios that I don’t want to date here in New Orleans and that its best for me to keep waiting as He told me to (be obedient, and WAIT on the man He has for me…-_-) lol. He also showed me the importance of being covered in the armor of the Spirit because we are battling greater things than we see in the news…and that is a whole separate writing within itself. But probably the most painful lesson I learned, and it didn’t even involve me, was that we have to truly learn to reflect Christ. I know we are all not perfect, not exactly where He wants us to be, but the world is watching us.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t take every opportunity that crosses my way as an opportunity for ministry. Plenty of times, and it hurts me greatly, I don’t give to the poor because I don’t have time to stop or I don’t have to give. I don’t always smile at everyone I see. I don’t always speak. And don’t let me get on my negligence of some of my family members…hahaha. I don’t call, I don’t text, and I don’t do what I should. I recognize now that in many situations I don’t reflect Christ. When I go out and party now, I am a lot more reserved because ultimately I know that everything I do is being watched and being scrutinized. I very fondly remember a conversation from when I lived in Charleston at how my going out with my friends could be seen as hypocritical. (Now that is another devotion, one I already wrote about, that has two sides…)
But anyway, in this situation this week, I was asked legal questions, which I legally and ethically cannot answer and told this lady that cornered me in the restroom at work those very words. Her situation was with a tenant that had somewhat suspiciously tried to break her lease. The tenant claimed that the house had been broken into, and decided to move out and wanted to reclaim her $1200 deposit; ironically enough, she moved out prior to the lights being turned out (which under the leasing terms would end her voucher support from HUD). This woman at work mentioned something in her description of this tenant that unnerved me. ‘She claimed to be a Christian.’
This evoked several ill feelings within me. First and foremost, we as Christians do not recognize the eyes that watch us. There are many, believer, nonbeliever, and unbeliever alike, that are searching for a witness in you. They are searching for a reason to believe in God, when in a Godless world it seems pointless to believe. They are seeking that same source of joy and peace that is promised to us and sadly, we don’t even recognize it. Our actions and our behaviors reflect the world and not God. They can influence others to think that our God is not worth the energy and that it may be easier to believe in Allah, Buddha, or themselves because Christians don’t even have it together.
However, the even sadder part of this situation is that the world judges us just as the Pharisees of Jesus’s time judged him and his associates. They don’t realize that God’s works within us is a process and for some the changes take more time. And sadly, many of us ‘Christians’ are still hurting, still wounded, and still recovering from our own hurts, inflicted upon us by life, our family, other Christians and ourselves. So we continue the cycle and never get that true experience from God. We never get that touch from Him that we need. And who ends up losing out? The very people that we are called to bear witness to. Those that need His touch just as much as we do.
How do we fix this? How can we reflect Jesus and His love to a dying, hurting, loveless world? First we submit to Him. We let Him transform us. We let Him open our eyes and show us the ugly parts of ourselves. We let Him unload the baggage, leaving the burdens we’ve brought at His feet. And we forgive. We apologize. We walk in love, knowing that hurt people only hurt other people. And then we embrace them. We testify of God’s goodness and mercy in our lives. And we keep moving forward, closer to Him, so that our mirrors reflect Him and not our hang ups and hurts.
After hearing this woman describe another member of our race as ‘those people’ and someone who claims to be a ‘Christian’, I prayed. I prayed for myself, that God forgives my transgressions and missed opportunities at truly reflecting Him to others. I prayed for that woman, and I prayed for the lady at my job. I made a mental note to keep my mouth shut about being in law school forever, lol, but I made it my desire to submit to God and allow Him to keep working on me. If that means I am unrecognizable to my friends and loved ones soon, its worth it. Because it isn’t me that should be seen, its Jesus. Well, I love you guys…hope this blesses you. I’m praying for you too, and I love you.
"Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ "They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ "He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Matthew 25:41-45