On Sunday nights I have been attending a singles Bible study. Just a bunch of singles from all walks of life, most of them over 45. However, there are now a few of us under 45, and we are called the "babies". I digress. The last couple of weeks we have been studying the book of James. Sunday night we were in chapter 2. The first few verses, actually through verse 13, created a great discussion. How do we treat others? What if we think someone is beneath us? Maybe we think we have a better paying job, or they don't take care of themselves properly, or they don't look right according to our standards. How are we supposed to treat them? James uses some pretty strong language to let Christians know that we will be judged in the same manner that we judge others.
One of our group brought up that we should be mirrors to others. We should reflect back to them what we see, the reflection of God in our lives. We should be showing love and not judgement. Too many times I have to remind myself of that very thing. Aren't we all created equal in God's eyes? Haven't we all sinned? None of us is perfect, not even close. All of our righteousness is as filthy rags, as the Bible points out.
Wouldn't it be nice, isn't it what God wants, that we reflect His glory, His love to others? Just as in the photo above of the reflection of the trees and sky in my parents' pond, we should be reflecting to others our God. If we are not living right, which happens to all of us, how can we reflect the true image of God? How will others see Him in us? It would be distorted, like ripples in a pond distorting the image of God. Who would want to be a Christian if they see us acting like we do sometimes?
Matthew 5:16 says "let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Full circle back to how we treat others. There is no way we can let our light shine for Christ, our image reflect His glory, if we don't treat others right. And that brings us to the last half of the second chapter of James. James asks Christians how they can say they are Christians if their actions say otherwise? I think I have some work to do...