Are you amazed and perplexed by magicians like I am?
Sometimes I watch them with my mouth wide open.
Other times, I am just in awe. My mind wonders "how in the heck did he do that?". If I see the trick in person, I ask them to do it again.
I remember a few years ago while visiting my daughter and her husband in Seattle, there was this incredible magician at Pike's Market. I watched him do his tricks over and over again. Many were convinced this guy was a fraud and that he was cheating. They wanted him to show them "HOW" he did it. He wouldn't agree to that. Afterall, this was part of his livelihood. I understand a magician's reasoning of not letting us in on their secret- if all of us could do what they did, we wouldn't be mesmerized by their art.
What if you know someone who boasts that they can do something, and you question the validity of their claim. We tend to ask them to "prove it". Show me. Let me see you do it. I want proof.
When my kids were in their teens, they created a game in our family room. We had a sky light that opened up the room. Because we wanted to be a home where kids always felt welcome, I sometimes would let them do things that other parents were sure to think I'd gone crazy allowing. This game was one of them.
My kids played basketball. We had a backboard on our sidewalk with real dimensions of a court painted on the street, where they could practice (while watching for cars!) free throws, dunks and just playing street hoops.
Inside was a different kind of basketball. They would mark their fingers with felt pens, and because we had a long family room, they would run and see how high they could jump up towards the skylight. I had a multi-colored ceiling for years.
Our kids friends often were ball players, so everyone tried to beat the highest mark. All except Jeff. He was a baseball player and didn't have much of a "jump". One day he and our daughter had the idea that they would tell everyone that he beat them all. They brought in one of our kitchen chairs and he jumped up and made a new mark-the highest one yet.
Only problem was- no one believed him. They kept asking him to do it again, and he refused by saying they were just jealous. The other kids knew he could not have jumped that high because they had seen his previous efforts. Jeff could never "prove" that he had really done it, because he hadn't.
If someone would ask you or me, to prove by our lives that we were followers of Christ, could we prove it?
Sure we could recite bible verses, probably tell them the ABC's of how to become a follower, say we went to church, or read the latest Christian best seller. We might say we attend a bible study, lead a sunday school class, do youth work, work in the nursery at church.
We could give lots of examples, but would how we live our lives measure up.
I would fail miserably on some days.
What if they knew how I judged people? What if they had seen me yell at my kids? What if I had made things up on a resume? What if they knew about my "biggest sin?" They would probably doubt that I was a follower of Jesus.
What about you?
If you drink too much and too often, would you represent Christ accurately?
What if you were sleeping around? or maybe just sleeping with the person you had dated for awhile-justifying your actions by stating that you loved them?
What if you cheated? on an exam? or your spouse? or your work?
What if you took things from work that weren't really yours?
Could you prove by your life that you truly were a Christ follower?
And what about the "church?"
I have written previously how embarrassed I was with Christians in how we reacted to our different position on gays. Instead of loving each other, we throw accusations against one another saying you are wrong and I am right. Those that do not know Jesus in a personal way, may question who we are really following.
And what about some of those who oppose abortion? The ones who throw slurs at girls entering Planned Parenthood, or when it was common to picket at abortion clinics?
Just to let you know, I am pro-life. I believe abortion should not be a form of birth control. But I also am in no position to criticize those who think they have no other out. I was in that position once too.
In the Gospel of Luke, before Jesus began his public ministry, John the Baptist began preparing the way for the Messiah to come. He chastised people who said they followed God but that their lives looked otherwise.
"Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God."
Luke 3:8 NLT
What if we who profess to love and follow Jesus, lived each day, in the hopes of accurately portraying the ONE we have based our lives on. What if the actions of our lives, the words of our mouths, the thoughts in our head, could prove that we truly love Jesus Christ?
Something to think about.
I so want my life to be proof that Jesus has changed me.
Please forgive me if I have shown you something else.