Christians are notoriously grumpy, judgmental, and condemning when it comes to how society sees us. We are known for preaching one thing and then acting out another. It’s unfortunate that we reflect such images and that stereotypes have been developed but in this instance the stereotypes are much of the time true. What we fail to realize is that the way we treat other people is a reflection of how we view God.
As Christians our entire life is spent trying to be like Jesus yet what we reflect often times looks like anything but. We justify our actions by saying that we are just human or that we are boldly proclaiming truth but when our actions reflect an image of God that isn’t who God is then we must reconsider if we are trying to reflect God or if we are trying to make God reflect us. If God begins to look more like who we want him to be rather than who he is then there is a problem. If you’re Christianity reflects judgment then you are either saying God is judgmental or trying to make God be judgmental towards the same people you are.
If you follow Jesus and are grumpy and mean then you are reflecting a God who is grumpy and mean. How we view God is reflected in the way we treat other people. If we are angry towards other people and proclaim the name of Jesus then Jesus must be angry towards those people. If we are chauvinist then God must be chauvinist. Gossipy then God must be gossipy. Controlling, narcissistic, arrogant, berating, self-indulging, self-serving, rude, hostile, etc. these qualities in Christians reflect who God is to other people. If we are not willing to admit that these qualities that we reflect aren’t godly then people are going to interpret them as part of Christ following. If we are not actively trying to change the way we treat people then we are not reflecting Christ.
In 1 John 4 it says that God is Love. How you treat others reflects on who your god is. While we never get it right all of the time we must recognize that if we are pursuing Christ it should be reflected in how we treat others. If we are working on growing in the other areas of our spirituality we must also be working on the present and tangible part of our spirituality that interacts with other people. God is love. We should be reflecting love. Loving people is a spiritual discipline. Loving people is work. Loving people is part of the process of sanctification.
So the next time you are tempted to be rude to someone remember that who you are is a reflection of who God is and your actions should reflect on who God really is, not who we make him out to be.