I’ve been going back to my childhood recently watching “Family Affair”, an old 70s TV show that depicted Brian Keith as an uncle who took in his late brother’s three children. One of my favorite characters is Mr. French, the English butler. He is very distinguished, but can be a wonderful, loving friend to the children.
When I think of Mr. French, distinguished fits him perfectly, because he’s different from the rest of the family. He’s from England, has an accent, dresses impeccably, and keeps his personal life to himself. So, when I think of using the same word to describe myself, I don’t want you to think I’m putting on airs…no, I’m just looking at what makes me different from those around me.
I began thinking about this subject during our Bible study on Sunday morning at the Arabic Baptist Church. We’re deep into the first letter of John and were talking about what makes us different as followers of Jesus. I’ve mulled this topic over a lot in the past few years, as I find Christians today seek to “blend in” more than “stand out” in our culture. So, I was pleased to see these four points shared from the readings in John’s letter:
- A Christ-follower is distinguished by living in the light. When we are giving God glory by our living, we have no reason to hide, lie or stay in the shadows. Am I light-living today?
- A Christ-follower is distinguished by following God’s commands or doing what pleases him. Is God pleased by my actions?
- A Christ-follower is distinguished by a life of love. The kind of love that comes from God reflects back on his character, not mine. It’s unselfish love, based on no personal motivation other than drawing others to Christ. Is my love his love?
- A Christ-follower is distinguished by faith. My faith is in the reality that God has given us eternal life through his Son, Jesus. Am I living by faith or sight?
In all this, I think the true distinction of a Christian is that they give glory to God in all they do and say. This takes conscious effort, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, it can be done.
Peter shares the distinction this way:
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light…Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
Are you distinguished? I pray so to the glory of God and the spread of his kingdom.
Grace and Peace