In church on Sunday, I was sitting in front of a lot of kids who were whispering and making noise and being very distracting. One of them even had a pen that they kept clicking open and shut and I found myself wondering why the parents didn’t teach them to behave better in church. However, that was very unfair of me because the mom was trying to quiet the kids down occasionally, and I’m sure she has taught them to be good and quiet in church, but they’re still kids and they don’t always do as their parents ask, and then people around them blame the parent for the kids’ free will to choose to disobey what their parent taught them. Oftentimes, parents will try to settle kids down in public, but the real correction will come when they are in private, away from the prying eye.
Similarly, as God’s children, our father has given us very clear instructions in the Bible about how we are to live and treat others, etc. For example, we are to “love [our] neighbor as [ourselves],” as we are told in Mark 12:31. However, you probably recognize that we don’t always follow the instruction of scripture. We are often selfish, and we do not always use our words to build others up, and we gossip, etc. And people around us who aren’t believers look at us and wonder how good can our heavenly father be if we treat others so selfishly? They have been given a skewed image of who God is because of our disobedience. In addition, they don’t see how God is convicting our hearts and correcting us behind the scenes, so they think that God is simply okay with our behavior, but in reality, as Proverbs 3:11-12 says, God corrects us as his children. He wants us to change for the better, and we are promised, in Philippians 1:6, that God will continue to work in us and perfect us until the day that Christ returns.
So what is God trying to teach you today? Are there actions or words of yours that have been less than loving that he is convicting you of? It is important that we, as believers, recognize how our actions and words reflect on God in the eyes of others. They can have a lasting impact forever turning someone away from Christ and that is something that we need to change. We should instead be so focused on doing good and loving others that people will be drawn to Christ because they see how we love as Christ did.