I find myself repeating some phrases along my journey of life. One that I use from time to time is about representing Jesus to others by “Showing the life, love, and the light of Jesus to the world.”
Catch phrases can be slightly misleading and sometimes counter-productive. We can talk the talk without walking the walk. They can also lull us into a type of self-deception as we think we are more than we really are because of what we continually say.
In my introspection of this phrase in my own life, I questioned myself. Am I really doing this? Who do I affect the most by my true expression or lack of application of this phrase?
I thought of the basic spectrum of people in my life beginning with my family, as those nearest me to the other extreme of those who may be my enemies; with my associates being somewhere in the middle. Just guessing, but most of us put on our best faces for our associates (those with whom we work, attend church, participate in outside activities, etc.)
The comical but sad scenario is given of a family going to church on a Sunday morning. The husband and wife are fussing with one another and barking at the kids in the backseat. Upon arrival at church, the couple hop out of the car with a spring in their step and warmly start shaking hands with their fellow churchgoers with an exuberant, “Good morning brother, how are you doing? Praise God!” You and I both laugh and groan at the same time, most likely for the same reason.
The way we represent the “life, love, and light of Jesus” to our family members and our enemies probably reveal more about us than we want to know. We let down our guard with our families and let the hammer down on our enemies. Perhaps this is why families are broken and enemies are not reconciled.
We live in an increasingly crazy and wayward world. Everything seems upended. Now, more than ever, we need to show forth the “life, love, and light of Jesus” because the world is bent on destruction, filled with hate, and a prevalent darkness that is obvious. Like never before, Isaiah 5:20 (NKJV) sounds like it was written for our present time, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
Again, I say, the way we represent the “life, love, and light of Jesus” to our family members and our enemies probably reveal more about us than we want to know. Our families need more of our attention and our enemies need more of our mercy.
Join me in this journey of giving the “life, love, and light of Jesus” to the world beginning at our doorstep and then to the ends of the earth.
Take to heart this prescription given by the Apostle Paul, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. / Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. / And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:30-32 NKJV).
Yours on the Journey,
Harry L. Whitt