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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

They Are Watching

"Hello Mister" is the usual phrase that I am greeted with in this city. It is not uncommon for me to hear this phrase ten times in one day! I am often tempted to call back some rude comment like, "Don't you know that I am not a mister?" or "Don't they teach you any other English phrase besides that one in school?" (I bet you had no idea missionaries could be so carnal!) These things are terrible to say, and I'm thankful that God has allowed me to keep my tongue in check thus far.

As one of only 15 white people on an island of 125,000, I tend to stick out. Everyone wants to know where I am going and what I am doing. Everywhere I go, I am being watched. And I am all too aware of that fact.
However, the truth of the matter is that we, as Christians, are all being watched. As we live our lives, we are a testimony to our relationship with Him, and His power living inside of us. A hurting, needy world is watching us to see if the message of the Gospel is real, and if it really works.
A great quote (that Lori shared last week) from St. Francis of Assisi is this,"Preach the Gospel at all times, when necessary use words." This isn't to say that we should never use words to preach the Gospel. Certainly not. However, if our actions leading up to our words are preaching an entirely different message, how can we expect others to believe what we say about our Lord?

We are to be the "fragrance of Christ" everywhere we go, and to whomever we come in contact with.

I'd say that I have it easy. Knowing that I am being watched has kept me on my toes, and kept me smiling, when sometimes I want to frown. Our testimony to others should be a real one, I'm not suggesting that we put on a fake smile or pretend we are something we aren't. What I am saying that we should be aware of everyone who is watching us, whether it is at the store, the park, or church.

We need to think about how we are presenting Christ to the world....because they are watching.

"Let you light so shine before men that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. " Matthew 5:16

In Him.....Joy

above photo courtesy of Flickr

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Blogger Denise said...

Awesome, thank you.

April 8, 2008 at 4:30 AM  
Blogger Katy said...

my mom and I were just talking about this yesterday as a matter of fact! The old saying "actions speak louder than words" is soooo true! You are so right, Joy. We should always keep our tongues...and actions in check. Thank you for the reminder!!! :)

April 8, 2008 at 4:52 AM  
Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

Convicting words. And if our focus is continually on Christ, we won't have to worry about how our walk appears to others. Much easier said than done!!

April 8, 2008 at 7:38 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

As a minister's wife, I find this so true! I see church members out and realize that my actions reflect upon my husband. This is convicting, but true on the broader scale. Everyone is watching and we may be the only Christian they know. Great reminder!

April 8, 2008 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger windycindy said...

What a great reminder. It is easy for me to forget! Thanks,Cindi

April 8, 2008 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger lori said...

That was WONDERFUL!!!
We are on the same are LIVING it.....

I'm hopping over to your site....


April 8, 2008 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Loved the article, Joy.

I spent some time this week reading and thinking on the story of the woman who poured out the expensive perfume. No one could have been in that room and not been influenced by her act of worship. She knew she was loved, she wanted to pour herself out in response.

May that be true of me as well.

I heard a message by Wayne Jacobson about living in the knowledge of how deeply we are loved by Papa. He mentions looking for people in his day to love. As he stands in the line at Home Depot, he asks Papa if there is anyone He desires him to show love to.

I am usually so busy worrying about my frozen food thawing while in the line at Wal-Mart that I don't even notice the people around me.

I pray that I will begin to look around and ask Papa how I might be an aroma of the fragrance of His great love.

Thanks for the article.

April 8, 2008 at 6:52 PM  
Blogger ChristiS said...

How very very true! As a teacher, I need to remember this all the time, even when I don't feel like being a role model!

April 8, 2008 at 9:39 PM  

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