7/24/15: What Are You Saying?
I have adorned every car I’ve ever owned with some kind of Christian insignia. In addition to the icthus (the little fish), sometimes I even add a clever bumper sticker designed to send a message to other drivers and challenge their thinking about God. For example, one of my little signs had a picture of flames across the bottom and read, “If you think there is no God, you’d better be right.”
Nowadays, people have taken getting their message across to a whole new level with the tattoo craze. I’m not exactly sure who those messages are for, but some people’s bodies have quite a lot to say.
In Ezra 8:22, Ezra thought about sending a message to the king, but after some consideration, he thought better of it. He says, “For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, ‘The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him’” (NKJ). In other words, Ezra considered whether the message he would write would match the testimony of his life. If Ezra really believed God was as great and powerful as he said He was, why would he need the king’s help for protection? What would his request say to the king about Ezra’s God?
While I’m driving around in some very challenging Los Angeles traffic, I’m cognizant of the fact that I emblazon Christian signs and sayings on my car. Even my driving should reflect what I say I’m all about. I can’t flip people the bird when they cut in front of me or impatiently honk their horns when I’m not moving fast enough for them. My stickers say I’m a Christian and Christians represent their Lord all the time. I personally refuse to do the tattoo thing because of Leviticus 19:28, but I wonder if those painfully-etched pictures and sayings will perpetually represent the character of the person wearing them like my bumper stickers represent my character.
Maybe you’re more low-key than someone with tats, me with my bumper stickers, or Ezra on his travels, but you are sending a message with your words and life. Do your actions show your words to be true? The old saying is really correct: actions speak louder than words. James says it this way, “But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?” James 2:20 (NAS).
Exactly what message about God and your faith are you getting across?
©2009 Sharon Norris Elliott.
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