It's been a long time since I was able to participate in Thankful Thursday. This month, thankful ones are gathering at Laurie's Women Taking A Stand blog to share their blessings.
Today, Laurie challenged us by asking if people could tell we were on the Lord's team by looking at us. Just as wearing sports jerseys identify which team we support, or uniforms tells us the location of our workplaces, would something about our outer appearance let people know we were God's child?
Some feel that, yes, you can tell who belongs to the Lord by looking at the apparel and hairstyles. Unfortunately, some (not all) who dress a certain way can be judgmental, self-righteous and down-right rude to those who do not feel called to dress as they do. What a shame! I've had two daughters who had jobs as wait-staff. They tell me that the whole restaurant shudders when people dressed "Christian" come in. They tend to be rude to staff, messy, hard to please, and worst of all - lousy tippers. (I've heard the same complaint at Wal-Mart - they dread when church lets out and all the worshipers come to Wally world for supplies!) This shouldn't be!
Instead, as God's child, our true colors are not demonstrated by our apparel, but in our manner! Actions speak louder than words. We should be characterized by love.
Jesus said: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:35 NIV
"This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. " 1 John 3:10 NIV
Our true colors show in the way we treat people.
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:13-14 NIV
Today, I'm so thankful for my Christian friends who treat me with love. My church family means a lot to me. They are there when I go through seasons of grief and disappointment. They celebrate with me in times of joy. They laugh at my jokes and pat me on the back when I try to do something for the Lord. We just do life together.
I hope you have a church family like that, too! If you don't, I pray that you will start right now searching for the body of believers that Christ has for you. He says in His word that He sets the solitary in families, and I believe that also means a church family. Somewhere, there is a group of worshipers that will welcome and accept you. They won't be perfect ... you're not perfect, either ... but they will bless you, and you can bless them. You'll be team-mates working together!