Recently I had the wonderful opportunity of sitting in my car for about an hour, doing nothing but waiting. Exciting life huh? As I sat in the parking lot waiting, I started doing one of my favorite things: people watching. Most everyone I saw had two things in common, they were in a hurry and they looked very unhappy. I saw a mom who seemed disgusted with her child for taking too long to get out of the car seat. I saw people in their cars not letting others "out" in the traffic line. I saw people passing one another without smiling or even speaking.
Not too shocking in the world we live, is it? Not shocking, but sad. Sad because I was not sitting in a Wally World parking lot but in a church parking lot. Say it ain't so? I'm afraid it is. My observation from the car played over and over in my head for a few days. I even wondered what I would look like if I could see myself as I walked through the parking lot.
Riding down the road yesterday (I'm in my car a lot!), I was channel surfing on the radio when I heard a familiar 80's Bon Jovi tune. The line "you're to blame, you give love a bad name", was unfortunately stuck in my head all day (hate when that happens).
I certainly don't pull any spiritual advice from Bon Jovi. However, I must admit I wondered if, as a Christian, am I to blame? Am I giving "love" a bad name? Worse yet, am I giving Christ a bad name by the way I act toward others? Today I listened to a sermon by Jim Cymbala (Brooklyn Tabernacle). In his sermon, Pastor Cymbala said, "The only advertisement Jesus has here on earth is us! We are His billboard."
In John 13:34-35 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."
There is an unbelieving world watching us. As the above quote from Jim Cymbala states, we are Jesus' adverstisement. So how am I doing?
- Am I courteous to the grouchy cashier?
- Do I treat my waiter respectfully when he gets my order wrong?
- When I am insulted, do I turn the other cheek or lash out?
- Do I let other drivers "cut in front of me when I'm stuck in a traffic line" and on a tight schedule?
- Do I treat my family and friends with love (when no one else is watching)?
- Do I look like I am full of His joy so others will want what I have or do I look like I have been sucking on lemons?
"It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching." - St. Francis of Assisi
Sorry Bon Jovi---Love has a good name. His name is Jesus.