If you were to open my closet and look at the T-shirts I own, I’d say that 95% of them are from youth camps or other Christian events. Too often, I wear these shirts without even thinking about what I’m wearing or what conversations people may strike up with me because of what my T-shirt says!
I’ll never forget an eye-opening story my friend once shared from when she worked at a hospital… She recalled having a conversation with a patient who was extremely frustrated with the way he had been treated that evening by nurses who were to take care of him. He explained feeling neglected and uncared for with the way they were treating him, giving him only what he needed with little care for his comfort, and offering very little grace through the whole process. At one point he asked for a cup of water, to which the nurse rolled her eyes, brought him a half cup of water and slammed it down on his nightstand. Additionally, anytime he asked the staff any questions, they would be extremely short with him, making him feel more like a nuisance than a patient in need of care. Regardless of all of this, it was what he told her in the end that really stood out to me. “And the crazy part of it all is that the entire time they were treating me so terribly, they were wearing crosses around their necks. How can they try to represent their faith with their necklaces and at the same time treat me so badly?”
Whether it’s gold crosses or Christian t-shirts, do you think about how you are representing your faith? Keep in mind, it may not even be something physical that you’re wearing… Are you representing Christ in your attitude towards others? And does His name carry weight in everything you do? Sometimes it’s good to take a step back and think about how we may be bringing Him fame or shame.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
When Jesus said this to His disciples, they were aware the burden of the cross was going to be heavy. That still applies to us today! We are responsible for representing Christ, showing the world the same love and attitude He graciously displayed to even the worst of sinners. However, there are also repercussions that come with misrepresenting Him to the world. And the last thing that any of us would want to do is slander the name of the One who gave it all up for us.
So it all comes down to two options. Are you going to give Him the fame He deserves, or bring shame on His name and everything He represents? The choice is yours.