When people look at you, what do they see? Whether intentionally or not, we display a message just by our very being. We are walking billboards. What are you advertising? Think about it for a minute.
Sadness, despair, aggression, joy, neglect, gossip, faith, hope, love, generosity?
By nature, people – even casual observers – “judge” and form opinions of us. We have been trained by society not to care what other people think of us, that we should do what makes us happy first and foremost. As long as we are not hurting someone else, it is fine to do our own thing. We are the center of our own universe. By human standards, numerous people have made millions writing self-help books about this very thing – touting that they hold the keys to your success and happiness. We have all bought into it at one time or another.
While I agree that people should not form their opinion of God based on human display because we are all imperfect, what if we are the only introduction that someone has to their maker? As Christians, we have all been called to witness. Truly, our main purpose in this world is to live for Christ. Everything else – jobs, shopping for purses, concerts, success – all are a part of our “employee benefits package.”
For example: How many of you have ever been presented with a weight loss product by someone who is overweight? You want to run right out and buy that, don’t you? It worked for them so well, surely it will work for you, right? I do not think so! Are we poor examples of our “product?”
How many of us how met someone by way of introduction through a colleague or someone that we respect? I am not referring to blind dates. Professional networking comes to mind. “Oh, I know someone that you really need to meet.” Because you respect the way that person carries themselves, you agree to the meeting. Normally the person making the introduction has qualities that might include charisma, belief in the other, confidence, reputation of success, or the IT factor. They just glow from the inside out. Something that causes you to become inquisitive. You wonder what fuels them and you want a piece of it.
Think for a moment. Who have you encountered that comes to mind? For me, I am blessed to have several. Currently, a fictional character named Miss Clara is fueling me. I want nothing more than to be the Cynthia version of Miss Clara. One single humble person reaching out, sharing her faith unashamedly, touched lives of an entire community and beyond. Her devout faith was like a magnet. She did not draw people near but God brought people near her. He liked and approved of her billboard and made sure that the right people saw it. Don’t we want to be people that God can use like that?
What if we are that person? What if we are the one person in this world that can “introduce” someone to Christ? To a stronger version of faith? To love, forgiveness, or most of all, grace.
If we are walking around so self-absorbed pursuing our purposes first before serving HIS, we just might be a negative advertisement.
I propose that it is a matter of priorities. When we wake up each day, instead of first worrying with the gym, the presentation that we are scheduled to give, the conference call – what if we all asked, “What can I do for Christ today?” When we go through life with a purpose and a vision, it is hard not to smile despite our own personal circumstances. That is when we will be a Super Bowl quality advertisement that people will want to run right out and “buy what we are promoting.” We just might have a sell out for Christ on own hands!
We all want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. I think we get so caught up in the world sometimes that we forget that we already are. We are on the winning team with a proven track record of success! When we stop walking in His shadows and try to lead the way, we place HIS vision and purpose for our lives second or third to our goals and ambitions. We decide to become captain of our own team of one. Now back to the self-help books that I mentioned. A common theme among them (yes, I have read many myself!) is that we become successful when we help others. AMEN! That is one core concept they got right.
So ask yourself, are you someone that can make an introduction? Do you shine in a room? Would you want to buy into what you are selling? What are you selling? Love, power, strength and joy despite the hardships of the day? Or are you letting the day consume you and showing people that there is no hope?
Make your billboard shine positively for Christ. Make whatever adjustments that you need to make personally to make that happen. If you walk around in a constant hurry, not looking people in the eye, glued to your phone with a scowl on your face and fail to be in the moment, I am talking to you. If you are worried about the outcomes of your decisions or actions but have failed to pray, I am talking to you. If you have Christ in your heart but are living lukewarm, yes- talking to you. We are either living for Him or not. Pretty simple. Be an example of what it is like to live in Christ.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (ESV)
Until next time,