Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Reflections of the Father

I love children, I really do--especially when they're well-mannered, calm and not clamoring for attention. Of course, all children are precious, but there something just a wee bit more precious about those who can sit still and behave compared to those who run amok.

I'm always impressed when I meet or witness well-behaved, polite children. To me, it's evidence of good parenting. Likewise, when I run across bratty-acting children, I tsk-tsk under my breath and wonder why on Earth the parents haven't taken a belt to little Junior's hindquarters.

Fair or not, many times children (young and grown alike) are judged according to who are parents are and their character, for better or for worse. Likewise, parents are often judged according to how well-behaved their children are or aren't. When their children are behaving, that reflects positively on the parents. When the children are caught misbehaving, the parents suffer from a poor reflection upon themselves, whether deserved or not.

Perhaps that's why it's important to consider how our behavior as children of God reflect on Him. I've heard many times that the main reason that people reject Christianity is not necessarily because they disagree with Jesus' teachings, but rather, the people who proclaim to follow and live by those teachings do not actually do so. When you hear of church splits, preachers being "written up" by other congregations, and nasty diatribes against other churches levied from the pulpit, it's not hard to see why non-Christians would be turned off by the call to Christianity.

Certainly--and thankfully--not all Christians and churches act this way. But it's an unfortunate fact that it can only take a few misbehaving children to taint the Father's whole family in the eyes of some non-believers.

It's pretty easy for me to act Christ-like when I'm at church, or when I'm with my family or hanging out with my Christian friends. But when I go into the workplace, or to the grocery store, or (and this is a biggee) when I'm driving, the challenge to represent my Father well becomes more intense. I wish I could say that I always pass with flying colors, but I'd be lying. But I'm trying to remember that how I act when someone cuts me off in traffic or when I'm waiting on a painfully slow clerk at the grocery store is a reflection of how others, especially non-Christians, see God.

Some days I do a better job of reflecting His glory than others. The good news is that His glory is not limited to my actions. Nevertheless, I'm trying to be more conscious of doing all things for the glory of the Father. I want to be a good reflection of Him.


Donna said...

ahhh, but just as two children raised identically will have different personalities and energy we as God's children will not be "cookie cutter Christians".

I know what you mean, but be sure you are reflecting Him through your mirror and not by being like someone else.

Lisa said...

Donna, thanks for the clarification. Yes, we are all created uniquely and each in our own way reflect the Father. Good point.