Proving You Are His

“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:35

I want you to imagine the following scenario: You are in line at a local store. Let’s say you are in the return line, because we know those lines can be long. Nerve-wracking at times. You have a couple items you need to return, and there are a couple people ahead of you. You notice the lady in front of you tapping her foot. She is shifting her weight back and forth, and has checked her watch several times. Are you picturing this? Can you see it? You hear a low huff emit from her, as she continues to move back and forth, tap-tapping. It is obvious she must be in a hurry.

The person in front of her finishes their transaction, and she heads to the counter. She throws her unwanted purchases down and grunts something to the cashier. You can’t hear everything that is said from the next register over, but her actions say it all. Arms flailing. Receipt clutched in hand. Anger written all over her face. You hear her yell an angry, “I don’t have time for your incompetence today,” as she storms out.

You are taken aback. Even more so, as you walk out, watch her get into the car with the personalized plates, and the magnet advertising her association with her church, and Jesus. Wow, is that how Christians act, you wonder. I don’t want to be in that church.

You familiar with this story? I know I am. I have been each person in this story. I have witnessed this type of behavior in public. I have worked in retail and been on the receiving end. And…I have also been the foot-tapping, huffing and puffing, arms flailing, “don’t have time for this” customer, who treated people unkind, and then walked out to my car plastered with faith stickers.

In those last moments I was showing anyone who encountered me that I was NOT a true disciple of Jesus.

I now have a large, brightly colored vehicle. It is adorned with a number of messages about faith, and Jesus. On any given day I may get a text while in a drive-thru that lets me know someone is behind me that I know. My son often texts me, “I see you at the Starbucks.” I can’t be acting sideways in my car. Yelling or giving people one finger waves. I am mindful of this, every time I step in it, drive in it, and step out of it.

But I should not need a car to remind me of this. A sticker. A decal. The spirit of God that dwells in me should be enough. A gentle reminder that each day I walk out the door, I am Jesus within the flesh of January to everyone I meet.

If my encounters are sprinkled with irritation, impatience, and anger; people won’t see Jesus. No. Instead every encounter must be sprinkled with compassion, gentleness, and love.

That is how they know I am His.

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