Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Did you forget your name tag?

So what does a Christian look like? How can you spot one? Should we look at what they wear? What they do? What they don’t do? What identifies a Christian?

I’ve read right past this verse too many times. Never before has it jumped at me like it does now.
"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)
Think about this. I’ve been around people who would question another’s salvation if they witnessed them smoking cigarettes. But this isn’t the way Jesus gave us to identify true believers. He said they would be known by their love for one another. Not by their choice of political party, not their floor length dresses or button down shirts; No, they would be known by their love. Wait a minute, if they’re listening to secular or ( I shudder to think it) Contemporary Christian Music, then they can’t be - Hold it right there! Jesus said by their love for one another!

I think we struggle putting this into practice because we think there should be more obvious ways to quickly and conveniently discern whose on whose side. (Name tags or T- shirts would be awesome!) The thing is that, what Jesus tells us actually stands out more than any of these. Think about it. What if you witnessed a group of people who truly loved one another? Not just by saying the words, but in deed and truth. Caring and helping each other, encouraging rather than condemning, giving rather than taking, I can hardly imagine such a thing. Something this radical would be noticed by everyone. People would talk. Scandalous I tell you!

By loving one another. Not by any conscious effort, simply the by-product of hearts filled with the Father's love, and then sharing that love with one another, overflowing onto all who come near. This is how Jesus’ disciples should be and will be known.

So, what are you known for?
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