I ask this question in the title because as I have been part time teaching at a Classical Christian School here in San Francisco, I was able to change the attitude of a fourth grade male student with this topic. You see, he was complaining because at the time there were three girls in the room and just him as the lone boy student. Furthermore, the girls were
misbehaving and he was starting to follow their lead, while complain about it. I quickly changed the idea around by asking him, “Let’s think about it this way. Regardless of what the girls are doing, since you are the only boy in the room are you going to represent the boys well or poorly?” And as I said that, I raised my hand above my head when I said “well,” and then I lowered my hand down to waist level when I said “poorly”. He thought about it and quickly said, “I’m going to do a good job of representing the boys!” and I encouraged him by saying, “That’s right! Do a good job!” (Of course, I want the girls to represent the girls well, too!) I found it slightly peculiar that the topic I posed to him was to represent the boys and it actually worked. If I had suggested other aspects of his identity, he would not have responded in the same way; not the school, not the class, not even Jesus, but fellow males.
So this really made me wonder, what do we consider is worth representing in our own lives? What have we seen represented by others? When several SF police officers were arrested for allegedly destroying evidence, this will certainly blemish the image of the SFPD. But, we cannot say that all SF police officers are dishonest, only those arrested are seen as deceivers. In the same way, we must be careful of where we point our fingers. After all, the SFPD has come to my aid several times. Furthermore, as believers, we are representatives of our Lord Jesus Christ! We may not outwardly wear a visible Christian “badge”, but our family, friends, and acquaintances will know we are Christians. So even if we haven’t been arrested, I encourage us all to spend some (extended) time in prayer and
reflection and as we pray, to ask the Lord to expose any actions we have made or words we have said recently that may have been inappropriate as a believer. Then go to the individual and correct the mistake. This is how we mature as believers and look less like Satan (the deceiver) and more like Christ. This is how we set a good example of a believer. This is how we represent Jesus. For “we are ambassadors for Christ” Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:20 (ESV). We are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9). And Ephesians 2:10 says, “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works”. Therefore, let us do those good works, and humbly own up to the mistakes we make when we stumble. This is how we represent Christ. And this is how we can redeem our integrity and Christian identity. This is how we know that we are children of Living God.