I was recently teaching at our centre in Holland, the beautiful Baak House. We had a lovely sunny day in Holland – such a change from all the rain and floods I’ve had at home in Cumbria – and I was watching the birds swimming on the moat, which surrounds nearly all of the property. The water was completely still, apart from the V-shaped trails that each duck or coot left behind it, and it made me wonder what sort of trail we leave behind us as we go through life.
I’m not thinking so much of our personal reputation, but the reputation of our Lord and Saviour.
My father, who wasn’t a believer, had a work colleague who professed to being a Christian, but he wasn’t always strictly honest in his way of handling money, and doing business in general. My father always cited this man as a really bad example of how Christians behave. This man’s faith obviously hadn’t made any difference in his life.
My father, who was a very honest man himself (sometimes painfully so), would say that this man’s example didn’t encourage him to follow Jesus.
As we go through life we’re representing our Saviour to those around us. What sort of impression do they receive of Him through our lives, our behaviour, our speech and actions? I sometimes think that Christians can be so unkind to each other, let alone to those outside the Church, that we can’t be very good advertisements for our faith.
Perhaps, at the beginning of this New Year, we could think a little harder about the trail we want to leave behind us. Who knows, the ripples may reach out to unexpected places and touch those you thought could never be touched.
Prayer: Dear Father God, I realise that I often make mistakes and don’t always represent You in the best way that I could. Please forgive me. Please help me to resolve to change what I need to change in the coming year, so that the light of Jesus can truly shine through me. In His precious name I ask it. Amen.
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