Sometimes when my kids go places without me I’ll say something like, “Have a good time. Be good. I trust you to act like I want you too.” Raising kids that “behave” is not an easy task. Kids are kids and they act like kids, but as they grow up we want them to act with good behavior, good choices and right living. But they don’t get that way on their own. Good behavior has to be taught and modeled and bad behavior corrected. As I parent, I try to do that, but sometimes my kids still behave badly. I’ll be honest, a kid’s behavior can embarrass me, because how they act directly reflects on me.
For those of us who call God our Father, we’re just like my kids. I can imagine God saying to us, “Enjoy your life, but I trust you to act the way I want you too.” But do we? God has taught us right behavior in His word, He’s modeled it for us with the actions of Jesus Christ on earth and He corrects us when we are wrong, but sometimes we still behave badly. And the sad part is that it directly reflects on God. An unbelievers opinion of God is based on how WE act.
When raising kids, we are tempted to look just at the behavior instead of trying to address the issues of the heart. Behavior comes from our heart. But we focus so much on the “how to act” that we forget the training in “who to be”. Unfortunately, we do the same thing in the church. We focus on how people should act as the measure of our godliness, when our hearts are the real issues.
For example, if you want to know the state of hearts when it comes to Christians, just go to the internet and pull up Facebook or any blog and read the comments. “Christians” spew their hatred and feelings like a water hose……only instead of putting out any fires, they are creating them.
A few years ago we couldn’t have imagined that we could sit at home and write something that suddenly someone around the world is able to read. It’s simply amazing what a great tool technology can be to offer hope and grace to a world that needs it. As believers in Christ, that should be our primary use of technology. It should not be a tool of Satan. Sharing every unhealthy, frustrated or private thought on Facebook isn’t like having a conversation with a trusted friend. It’s like airing all your dirty laundry to the whole world.
Christ said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
– John 13:35
We have been given a great and sacred trust in sharing a true testimony of who God is. And our behavior stems from our hearts. What a sad commentary of our time that Facebook or blogs or comments to blogs and Facebook by “Christians” can be so hateful at times. Every area of our lives should be sanctified for God’s use. Even……… and maybe ESPECIALLY technology that connects us to the WHOLE world.
Does our love prove to the world that we are disciples of the true and faithful God? The internet connects us to the world. What does the world see when they read our status update or our comments? They WILL see the truth. But is it the truth of God’s love that sets people free or something else entirely?
Lord, please don’t let us embarrass you with our behavior.