When I was still a kid in youth group, I had one of those experiences that you see silly skits about, but never expect to see happen in real life.
There were a bunch of us piled into a van on our way to a youth event. We’d stopped off at a gas station to fill up and grab snacks for the evening to come. We’d been laughing and joking around in the convenience store and, when we got to the counter with our purchases, the attendant behind the counter said, “There’s something different about you. What is it?”
We’d all seen this skit before. There’s only ever one answer.
And, in a surreal moment, the guy behind the counter didn’t even scoff at us. He simply stated that he’d tried the church thing and didn’t think it was for him. We proceeded to encourage him to try again. Not all churches are the same and not all Christians are perfect. We thanked him for his time, paid for our goodies and left.
I’ve had similar experiences since, but that one sticks out so much because it may as well have been scripted. But, the gas station employee didn’t have a script behind the counter. He hadn’t seen the cheesy skit we’d all seen a dozen times. He saw something different in us. We weren’t like every other person who walked in and out of the store every day.
I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other as I have loved you. All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.
John 13:34-35 (NCV)
Just because there have been moments in my life where people have seen a visible difference in me doesn’t mean that I walk out my faith all the time.
This is the challenge.
It’s not in the moments where we remember that we’re children of God where our love for one another is most noticeable. It’s the in-between moments. Those moments where we react without thinking. Have we renewed our minds to the point where our love shines through in every situation? Or is it time to get back into the Word so that our responses reflect the faith and love we proclaim?
Daily Bible reading: 2 Chronicles 10-12; John 13:18-38