A man was driving on a busy street when he noticed in his mirror he was being tailgated by a woman talking on her cell phone and attempting to put on makeup. As chance would have it, the light just in front of him turned yellow. Being a conscientious driver, 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 became furious. Honking her horn, she screamed in frustration at the man as she had missed her chance to get through the intersection. To top it off, she had also dropped her cell phone and makeup.
As she was in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up to see the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. Cuffing her, he took her to the police station where she was searched, finger printed, 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. Returning them he said, “Ma’am, I’m very sorry for the 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 were a car thief and had stolen the car.”
When Jesus said to let your light shine among men, I’m sure he wasn’t talking about bumper stickers, logos, and t-shirts with eye catching slogans and pictures. Rather, he was talking about our attitudes and actions in relating to others. He was talking about demonstrating the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. By those attitudes and actions people can never be mistaken about the identity and reality of a Christian life. Jesus said, “A new command I give you; love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35)
The next time someone cuts you off or does something that “grates on your last nerve,” pause for a moment and remember who you represent before you do something that would cast doubt on your witness and hinder the cause of Christ.
To His Glory,