Most take a quick look at themselves before leaving home each morning. A quick check confirms that hair is properly styled, that clothes are neatly fitted and that no evidence of breakfast remains on the teeth. Throughout the day we often sneak another peak just to make sure nothing has changed. We want to look our best.
But what we see and what others see may be different especially when we think of the intangible qualities; those internal characteristics that make us unique. What do people see when they look your way? Better, what do you want those people to see?
For some the external image is important. For others emphasis is placed on the intangible qualities. For the Christian, neither is correct. The Christian should reflect the qualities of God, not of himself.
For example, consider David. For all of his thoughts he was still understood to be a man after God’s own heart. His accomplishments as a King notwithstanding, he is best known as one who sought the things of God.
The apostle John, first introduced as one of the “sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17) came to be known to us as the apostle of love. John’s writings reflect the love that best describes our Father in heaven (1 John 3:10 ff).
Paul describes the fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5:22-26. Those qualities are the qualities of the Spirit which you and I ought emulate.
Jesus said, “You therefore must be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). The perfection comes from God’s forgiveness, not from any moral perfection we discover. When we submit to God in simple faith and obedience he does not charge our sins against us. Consider Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:19: “…God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses to them…”
Aren’t there some people that you think of as especially godly? They are not perfect but they are wearing the Spirit’s fruit in their lives. This is the kind of reputation we should strive for.
In the bliss of Eden, man stood before God having been created in his own image (Genesis 1:27). That beauty was destroyed when sin entered but it is not lost forever. We can again attain unto the perfection that is in Christ alone.
So the next time you head out the door, check your appearance in the bathroom mirror but also check your spiritual appearance. What are you reflecting to the world? A hurried mom too busy to think about anything but the next school event? A harried salesman trying to grab the next contract or sale? Let the glory of God be reflected every moment. You are a Christian. Look the part!