“If someone claims, “I know him well!” but doesn’t keep his commandments, he’s obviously a liar. His life doesn’t match his words. But the one who keeps God’s word is the person in whom we see God’s mature love. This is the only way to be sure we’re in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.”~ 1 John 2:4-6 (MSG)
I was driving to work one morning recently when a car recklessly raced past me on the highway. As he (or she) sped by, I noticed it on the back of the car…the Jesus Fish. The driver speeding past me, probably 20 to 25 mph over the speed limit, was a Christian, or at least declared to be one by the Jesus Fish on the bumper. We’ve all had it happen. Driving down the road minding our own business, when out of nowhere, you get cut off or worse yet, cursed at, by a passing motorist. Those things don’t upset me (much!) but what bothers me is when it happens and as the vehicle passes me, I spot the Jesus Fish.
If you asked a sampling of non-Christians why they do not follow Jesus, I believe that many times it is not that they have an issue with Him, but rather with His followers. Using my son as an example, he sees politicians or others in the media using their Christianity in hateful ways. He views it as hypocrisy and wants no part of it. I have tried to explain to him that in order to make a decision for Jesus, he needs to find out what Jesus teaches and who He is. Unfortunately, my son, and I’m sure many others, make their decision based upon the actions and words of His followers, rather than on the teachings of the One we follow.
The person who sped past me on the highway could have been experiencing some kind of emergency and I admit that my first instinct was judgmental (What an idiot!) Christians are not perfect. I am not perfect. That is exactly why we need our Savior, because we can’t possibly earn salvation of our own accord.
While we are all flawed, our behavior should be fitting of the King we follow, because to some people, we are the only Bible they ever “read.” We are the only experience of Jesus they may have. As we hurry about the business of life, we speed past many people along the way and just like the driver that sped past me, we too, as followers of Christ, “wear” the Jesus Fish.
We will never be perfect, but, as Christians, I think we need to be cognizant of the fact that people are watching what we do and listening to the words we speak. What we choose to do and not do, in the name of Jesus, has lasting consequences not only for us, but for the people we encounter along our walk.