Psalm 69:6 May those who hope in you
not be disgraced because of me,
O Lord, the Lord Almighty;
may those who seek you
not be put to shame because of me,
O God of Israel.
This should be a prayer of every Church leader, and of every believer, actually. When we stumble we affect not just ourselves, but also everyone who is watching us. We shouldn’t be paranoid, but we should be intentional in our imitation of Jesus so that those who see us may be drawn to Him, and not driven away. Mohandas Gandhi once said something like, “I would become a Christian if I ever met one.” That actually was hypocritical, because it was overlooking his own imperfections, but the point is still real. If Christians would live out the faith they proclaim, more people would join them because they’d have no excuse not to. None of us are perfect on this earth, but we need to walk in genuine, active humility and obedience so that we will keep growing more and more like Christ, and not serve as anyone’s excuse not to come to Him.
I am very aware that I am watched, but I should be even more aware that God knows everything about me. If I will walk in consistent obedience, then it won’t be a problem no matter who sees me. Things like pride and insensitivity still trip me up, and they can indeed be ugly. I am reminded of how Japan has seemed to copy the bad things about the US rather than the good. There are things in my life that I would be very happy for people to imitate, because I know they draw me closer to God and they would do the same for others, but it seems like people don’t pick up on those so quickly! However, though I can’t control how others respond to me, I am responsible for how I respond to God, so I need to keep pressing into Him in all faithfulness and humility.
Father, thank You for the magnificent pastors meeting yesterday. I feel like it was the best we’ve ever had. We had full attendance, and the conversation was substantive and spiritual. You are indeed growing us into a band of brothers to shepherd Your flock here in Omura. May we all be strengthened as examples to our respective flocks and to the city as a whole, so that all who seek You, whether they know You yet or not, may be drawn into Your family in truth, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!