"They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify* them by the truth; your word is truth." John 17:16-17 (NIV)
*Greek hagiazo (set apart for sacred use or make holy)
I recently read a news article in which a person's true character had come screaming through. This person had put on a facade for the public, allowing people to believe they were kind, gentle, and of humble spirit. Unfortunately, this past week, through various media outlets, we have seen another side: crude, cruel, and arrogant. Willing to sacrifice the character of another for the fulfillment -- even betterment -- of themselves. I felt outrage that this person could so easily transfer from one front to another.
Then I realized how often I do the same thing: speak with firm-but-gentle words to my husband or kids when in public; but behind closed doors my voice tends to raise in volume and tenor. I may come across as a selfless person to the church when I volunteer in my child's classroom, but really I'm just making sure I'm doing my part, keeping guilt at bay.I may speak of my Faith to one friend who shares my belief, but don't "speak Jesus" to the one who does not believe. I do not want to appear fake, after all. I wouldn't want to be judged for my character after-all.
What if we all lived our lives as if living under a media-microscope? What if we lived Truth -- not goodness and mercy; rather, true to our selves. What if, rather than fearing what other people thought, we lived as if their lives depended on it? I, for one, fail at this on a daily basis. I constantly worry about what other people think of me. Jesus was not crucified on a cross worried about what people thought about him. Was it easy for him? No, he was fully human, after all. He was also fully GOD. Mercy and grace, love and humility in their finest form.
Do you live in the world, or by the world's standards?
Which face are your friend's most familiar with? Co-workers? Family?
I encourage you to live in the Truth today.