I was sent an e-mail the other day that really got me thinking…
A man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy boulevard.
Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.
The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration, as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone.
As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up.
He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell. After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.
He said, “I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him.” I noticed the ‘What Would Jesus Do’ bumper sticker, the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘Follow Me to Sunday School’ bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk; naturally…I assumed you had stolen the car.”
I’ve read this “funny” story about 3 times and I can honestly say that I fit the role of the man in first car, the hurried woman, and the police office, but all at different times. And each of those times I was choosing an attitude, an attitude that was reflecting Jesus Christ to others.
I’m learning a lot about myself and how I reflect Christ. And I’m not gonna lie, but it’s been hard. It’s been a range of mixed emotions, with extremes so vast that I wonder where my mind and heart truly are sometimes.
I don’t want the things I say to hurt others. I don’t want my words to be discouraging either. I’m young and I have a lot to learn (some of you just said “amen”…) and I embrace it, I really do. Why? Because I want to clearly reflect the love and saving power of Jesus Christ in all I do and in all I say. I want my faith in Christ to be filled with action, that when viewed by others is contagious. I want to live and speak out everything with purpose and power. I want to use my voice to encourage and build up others, to call them into relationship with God and to proclaim the glory of the Lord.
I hope I’m never like that woman in the story whose reflection of God was so poor, her identity, her true identity in Christ was completely mistaken.