Your message is…

When people notice you, what do they see?

If some random individual pulls your closest person aside and asks them to share one sentence regarding your character, what do you think this statement will be?

For the Christians out there, do your family members (the ones you eat, breathe and sleep with) see Jesus Christ “all up in your kool-aid”?

My son over the weekend attended a sweet 16 party for one of his classmates. We prepared in earnest for his attendance. Outfit – check. Haircut – check. Gift – check. Transport to meeting point – double check. My boy was the happiest I’ve seen him in a while.

The hours since his drop off began rolling by and the night became later and later. At about 11pm I rang his phone. No answer. Sent a text. No answer. He reached back out to me about 15 minutes later via a phone call stating he and his friends had just left the venue and were en route to the original meeting point. I responded to him that I would pick him up from this location at 12 and we would head home.

Friend, the venom which spewed cannot be placed here but suffice to say, he was not a happy camper. My boy was upset that I would ruin his plans for further fun and has been throwing a silent tantrum since.

As I sat today thinking how the tides of the day turned and my best response to his behavior, Holy Spirit downloaded something in my heart.

“The best message of the cross that I can teach my son, is to die on it daily.”

When everything is going good with us, our demeanor tends to be jovial and the ones closest to us find our company enjoyable, peaceful even. We are on our best behavior. We are not obnoxious and unbearable. Even a cantankerous and pessimistic person could find no fault.

When the waves roll in though…and the seas around us are raging what does our attitude reflect? When things are not going the way we expect and our family members begin acting crazy, how do we respond?

What about when we get on the phone with a telemarketing company whom we have told time and time again to remove us from their calling list? In my case, how do I respond to that ungrateful and even disrespectful teenager who believes it their right to always have their own way.

Do I treat him unkindly? Do I act spitefully towards him? How do I address his disrespect and temper tantrums? Do I ignore his ringing of the doorbell as he stands in the bitter cold? I’m sure the questions could continue and vary with each imagination but my friend, there is simply one way to respond – Christ’s way.

The next time therefore you find yourself at the barrel at the end of the proverbial gun, remember, the only message we should show others, is that of the cross – death to self in order for Christ to truly “live”.

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