A couple weeks ago I was driving the church van because my normal, look-like-everyone-else van was in West Virginia with my husband. As I was driving, I noticed that when I came to a stop sign, it was a complete stop, I wasn’t speeding (which didn’t make people happy) and was more cautious about when I turned down a different road. It made me think and question-“Why?” Well, on the side of the van in big, white letters it says – “Church of Christ, Fairfield, Illinois.” Anyone who was to drive past this van would know that the driver was somehow connected with the church of Christ. I didn’t want to give the church a bad reputation or people the opportunity to think poorly of the church, but wanted them to see that the church van was different. (Plus, who really wants to be the first person pulled over in the church van? Not me!) Not that I am a horrible driver in my normal look like everyone else van, but because of the big, white letters, my driving was better.
What if after we had put on Christ through baptism (Galatians 3:27) we had big, white letters tattooed on our foreheads saying, “CHRISTIAN” (Acts 11:26)? Would we act differently because everyone could see without a doubt Who we belong to? Would we stop and think before we decided which path in life to travel (Matthew 7:13-14)? I imagine we would choose to be the best Christian possible because of our new tattoo. We would “do good unto all men” (Galatians 6:10), we would be “kind, tenderhearted and forgiving” (Ephesians 4:32). We wouldn’t want to give our family, the family of God, a bad name.
But since we don’t have a big, white tattoo on our forehead, it’s easy to hide who we belong to, just like it’s easy to hide in my normal, look-like-everyone-else van. I can easily roll through a stop sign and even fly down the road and no one would have a clue who is driving. Without a big, white tattoo, it’s easy to grumble and complain, go places, do things and say things Christians ought not to have a part of. Just because we look like everyone else, doesn’t mean we should act like them. In John 15 we read about the vine and the branches. Part of verse 5 says “He that abideth in me, and I in him” (KJV). Christ abides in us if we do His will. We have a big, white tattoo on our hearts that must not be hid. Our light, our love for Christ, our willingness to obey Him, must shine in this dark world and our actions and works must glorify God (Matthew 5:14-16). Remember, God is always watching you. He knows if you belong to Him without that big, white tattoo.
By Kristina Odom
Kristina and her husband, Justin, serve with the church of Christ in Fairfield, IL where her husband is the preacher. Kristina is a stay-at-home mother to their three kids.