A friend of mine and I were recently talking about work and she told me a story about her former boss that I would never forget. Let’s call my friend “Nicole” (to protect her identity).
Nicole worked as a secretary at a large firm. Now, Nicole’s boss claimed to be a Christian. He went to church (and drank of out of the church’s coffee cup every morning), had pastors as clients, and had bible verses hung up in his office. From what Nicole saw of him her first couple of days there, he was, in fact, a believer.
But his WITNESS didn’t match his WORDS.
See, people were scared of Nicole’s boss. He screamed at the secretaries that didn’t work to his liking (too slow, too many errors, moving things around the office, etc). He often yelled curses at them too. He was often in an angry mood. He was so bad that one of the paralegals at his firm quit, on the spot, after he berated her in front of the others in the office.
No, his witness didn’t match his words at all.
After hearing this story, I began to reflect on my own life. Do MY words match my witness?
Surely, I don’t go around cursing at people at work (or in general), but do I do things that endanger the validity of my witness?
What about the time that I didn’t give that homeless man something to eat?
Or what about the time I lost my patience with one of my kids in public?
What is my witness?
Now, I’m not saying that if you’ve messed up and “sinned” in public that you’re not a believer. We will struggle with sin until the day we die, so none of us will attain perfection on this side of eternity. We will all mess up in one way or another. Perhaps we’re short with our spouses or quick to snap at our kids one day. We haven’t suddenly “lost our salvation” because we snapped at our kid for refusing to pick up their room.
What I am saying is this; PEOPLE ARE WATCHING.
You may be the only Bible some people read.
We live as ambassadors for Christ, representing Him everywhere we go; School, work, hobbies, among family, among friends, etc. Everywhere we are, there are people who do not know Jesus watching us and attaching our actions to Jesus.
What we do and say reflects on Christ and, when we act wrongfully, we give the wrong witness with our words.
And again, I’m not saying “do your best to never mess up so people think Jesus is awesome”. That’s unrealistic. We all mess up.
What matters is what you do WHEN you mess up. How does your witness speak to the ones you have wronged?
When you wrong someone (kid, spouse, friend, etc), do you pridefully stand your ground or do you humble yourself and seek forgiveness for not loving them the way Jesus loves you?
What is your witness?