There is merit in the adage that we are not to worry about what other people think. Life should not be measured by popularity, or public opinion. There is more to life than getting so-and-so to like us. Paul says in Ephesians 4 that we are not to be blown around by the efforts of other people.
And yet, there is something to be said for what people see in us. Specifically, a fundamental tenet of classical Christianity is the witness that our lives give to our beliefs. How do our actions support the claims we make with our hearts? Jesus says of his own ministry, "For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you," (John 13). He came to be an example and we are to be examples, too.
All of this was stirred up on Monday, when I found an offering envelope in front of the church, surely where it landed when boys hit the front doors after worship to spend a few precious moments throwing the ball in our church's front yard. First thinking it was trash, I soon discovered the hidden treasure sketched on the back. It is the family tree that Carter drew. His parents confirmed the hunch I had based on the fact that he was listed first, before all of his siblings. My eyes were immediately drawn to his representation of his parents, Kelli and Stacey. He showed them holding hands.
How do people see you? How would those closest to you draw you? What actions or emotions have you left in their minds and their hearts?
One of the core values of our congregation, spoken into reality through our Vision Team earlier this year, is that Epworth is real people. What you see is what you get. People are watching and our responsibility is to set an example for other believers and even those outside the church of who we are and what we believe. What better time than December to show people what we stand for? Our witness is in our attendance, our speech, our giving, and our Spirit.
Grace and Peace to you, Scott