Witness Protection Program or “Why I don’t have a fish bumper sticker on my car”
I try to be a pretty nice person. Most of the time.
I try to see the bright side of things. Most of the time.
I try to see the better in people. Most of the time.
But then, I fail. FAIL. Miserably.
I love Jesus, but I cuss a little.
But my failure is not just about me.
Its about what others are witnessing when they see me.
It’s about who I want to be a witness for.
I am an awful witness for Jesus.
I was relieved when I traded my Ford Focus in years ago. Relieved because I couldn’t live up to the witness that the little fish emblem on the back of the car implied. I got my only speeding ticket in that car. I ran very yellow lights. I may have annoyed my share of other drivers. All while I was proclaiming “I’m a Christian”.
I am an awful witness for Jesus.
I caught myself the other day. After long days in airports, which I actually enjoy, I had a chance to volunteer to take a different flight. Why not? For once, I finally had the freedom in my schedule. It wouldn’t bother me to go at my scheduled time or take the next flight. No biggie. But wait. They couldn’t tell me if they wanted me to actually volunteer until everyone boarded. EVERYONE. It seems they had to weigh the plane.
I had a great seat.
Extra leg room.
On a regional jet.
Carrying a backpack.
And there was NO room in the overheads by the time I got on.
Everything I was carrying had to go under the seat.
Where my feet go.
So my knees aren’t under my chin.
It is easy to be a good witness for Jesus sometimes.
This wasn’t one of them.
I was ticked.
I didn’t cuss, but I am sure that Jesus didn’t like my attitude.
I sure didn’t. Grumpy. Sarcastic. Snarky.
And what’s worse?
My seatmate was chatty. Nice guy. Funny. Interesting. We showed each other pictures of our kids and grandkids.
And then… THE QUESTION
“What line of work are YOU in?” he asked.
“I work with volunteers.” I said. And changed the subject.
I love talking about what I do, and I love Jesus.
But at that second, I needed a Witness Protection Program.
To protect the guy in 4B from my bad witness.
“I love Jesus” Angela was a sharp contrast to the grumpy, snarky, reeking of bad attitude Angela that this nice young man was sitting next to.
So I was quiet.
I was a non witness instead of a bad one.
Score for Witness Protection Program.
It was amazing and humbling to see how fast my desire for wanting some leg room and overhead space spiraled into grumpiness.
At the end of each day I know I have unintentionally offended and hurt more than I have encouraged and lifted up.
The lyrics to this Casting Crowns song echos in my head
Jesus, friend of sinners, we have strayed so far away
We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing
Jesus, friend of sinners, the truth’s become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You but they’re tripping over me
Always looking around but never looking up I’m so double minded
A plank eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided
“Jesus, Friend of Sinners”, Casting Crowns
“The world is on their way to You, but they’re tripping over me”
Yep, I admit, I don’t have it all together. My cheese is slipping off the cracker. I’m ok with with being broken. I’m not ok with tripping people on their way to Jesus.
So here’s the thing.
Maybe the answer isn’t having a bumper sticker to show I am a Christian.
Maybe the answer is to live more intentionally like Jesus.
“And what does the Lord require of you? Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8