What Do Others See?


Contributed by Shannon White, wife of Tim White, Next Gen Pastor at Image Church

Have you ever woken up in a rotten mood?  Last Tuesday, I woke up and was just plain miserable.  It was one of those mornings where no one could have done anything right.  I was so grumpy, I didn’t even want to be around myself!  I knew that I needed to get into the Word, and the sooner the better.

I had been reading in Philippians, and that morning I started reading through chapter 2.  As I was reading along, verses 14-15 were like a smack on the head.

In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing, so that no one can speak a word of blame against you.  You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people.  Let your lives shine brightly before them.

Wow!  My whole morning was filled with complaining and arguing with my kids.  Paul wasn’t telling the church at Philippi to do things without complaining and arguing if they felt like it.   They were to abstain from those attitudes so that others would see Jesus through their lives.

I thought about how it is important to model Jesus for the world around us.  Last year when we took our daughter Brianna to back to school night, we had to wait outside for the doors to open.  We were standing behind this couple with a daughter that was probably eight or nine years old.  The husband was miserable.  He was complaining about the teacher his daughter had the previous year, complaining that the school had too many first year teachers and so on.  We could not wait to get into the school.  Later in the school year, I saw that family again.  They had a sticker on their vehicle announcing the church they were apart of.  I would never have guessed that the man attended any kind of church.  It really made me think about how we act in front of others can impact their view of Jesus.  It can make them want what we have or can turn them away.

As I continued to think about the verses, I was reminded that I should be modeling this behavior not only for the world around me, but also for the children that God has given to me. That morning, I was far from modeling Jesus. My children are all 6 and under and have not yet given their lives to Jesus.  They are the ones I need to be modeling Jesus in front of.  I pray that I would be able to refrain from grumbling when I have not had a good night of sleep or when my children are up by six in the morning.   I pray they would instead see the fruits of the Spirit in my life.


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