By: Carole L. Haines
Who doesn’t like to relax, right? Part of how I relax is to put on nature films with music behind them. I did that this morning with a film called, “Ocean Wonders.” It was so relaxing, but one creature in particular took my breath away. They are called Leafy Sea Dragons. They look like seahorses, but are camouflaged with extensions that look like branches with leaves, or like Sea Coral. When they first showed up, I couldn’t even distinguish them, until thy moved and closed their eyes. So stunning, so graceful and delicate. One of them is in the picture above.
This all made me wonder, are we perfectly camouflaged in our little worlds, as believers in Christ? Are we beautiful and graceful, yet no one really knows why we are so kind or gentle? Worse yet, are we gruff and rude, perhaps insensitive or arrogant? In those cases, we really don’t want people to know we are believers in Jesus. I have been both of these genres at different times.
One thing I have never understood is why Christians put bumper stickers on their cars. We all fail in so many ways, and I have been tail-gated, cut off, and treated rudely on the road by many a person who, when they finally passed me up, had a Christian Bumper sticker on their car.
God tells us this through Paul:
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. 14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. (Philippians 2:12-15 NASB)
Please know that God is speaking to my heart about this issue. I am judging no one, but just passing on what He brought up to my own heart this morning. I can certainly echo Paul’s sentiments”
15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. 16 Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:15-17 NASB)
I am a foremost of sinners, of that I have no doubt. Let us come before the Lord this morning and ask Him to reveal the innermost truth about our reflection of Him in this world. Let us repent where we need to, yet be encouraged where He has already brought transformation. I want to be that light in the world that shines in a dark place, don’t you? I want to be transparent, not perfectly camouflaged.