When I got my first job (back in the Dark Ages), I was very aware of the fact that everyone I worked with knew I was a Christian. I had this sense that, for some of them, I might be the only Christian they had ever really known. It was possible that I would be the one person who could influence their view of Jesus and the body of Christ in a way that God might use to draw their hearts toward Him.
Knowing that fact drove me to work a little harder. I wanted to be the one who was always smiling, always willing to lend a helping hand, always showing a good attitude. I didn’t want to gossip or complain. I didn’t want to just point my finger at any of them and say, “You shouldn’t live your life like that.” Instead, I wanted to give them an example – a picture – of what a life changed by God looks like. And I wanted that picture to be kind, cheerful, hard-working, full of conviction, and full of grace and compassion, so when I talked to them about the folly of their life without Christ, they would actually listen.
I don’t know if anyone turned to Jesus as a result of my time working with them, but I trust that God used my words, actions, and attitude to plant a seed. I pray He was glorified by how I worked for Him at my job.
But what about the work I do now, my work as a homemaker? Do I feel the same burden to be a picture of Christ as I go about my job today? Do I regularly think about making a lasting difference in the lives of those around me?
What if I lived like I was the only Christian my family would ever see?
I wonder how that attitude would change me. I wonder how it would change my husband and my children.
If I was intentionally living as a picture of Christ, I would. . .
~ Work cheerfully – I would stop complaining about all the “stuff” I have to do. I would show my family that I see them as a gift from God and our home as a structure to be cared for and used for His glory.
~ Serve joyfully – I would look for ways to do good to the people God has placed in my life. I wouldn’t make them feel like a burden.
~ Speak the truth in love – I would teach and correct, but I would temper it all with love. I wouldn’t just say, “No! Stop! Don’t!” in order to defend my pride. I would loving train my children to follow God while showing the grace that has been given to me.
~ Confess and forgive – I would be quick to admit when I wronged those around me and quick to forgive when they wronged me. I would be a humble example of Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
~ Smile – I would glow with the love and joy of the Lord. Even in difficult situations, I would refrain from complaining and would display a heart of thankfulness.
I am so weak when it comes to living intentionally.
In my Christian living, I often waver somewhere between self-centered laziness and self-centered pride. God is most glorified when I live out Christ-centered action and humility. But I’m not capable of living out the gospel on my own. It’s just too hard for me. I desperately need to admit my helplessness and depend on His grace.
Yet, as I stand in that grace, God also demands action. I am commanded to “do all things as unto the Lord.” I am instructed to “rejoice in the Lord always.” I need to “look well to the ways of [my] household” and serve my family so “that the word of God may not be reviled.”
The clean floors and changed diapers are all about living the gospel. Our attitudes proclaim what we believe about the love and sovereignty of God. We may not be the only Christian our children will ever see, but we might be the only one they see folding the laundry, disciplining disobedience, picking up the same messes day after day, loving their daddy.
If we were able to step outside our own lives and look in through the windows of our homes, what would we learn about the Heavenly Father? Right now, today, what do our children believe about Jesus based upon our words and attitudes? What gospel are we preaching through our lives?
Is it Truth? Because that’s all that matters.
Have you ever stopped to think about the gospel you are proclaiming through your life? Let’s chat about it in the comments!