I can still hear my principal from Castle High School saying, “If you are wearing a Castle shirt of any kind, you are a representation of a Castle Knight wherever you are. Be a good representative of us.”
Who or what do you represent?
My answers consist of my school, my church, my family, my friends in some sense; but most importantly, I represent Christ.
Back in November, our school put on a Veterans Day Program for our Veterans and community. It’s a school led program, so some students greet Veterans, play in the band, or sing in the choir; and the majority of our students sit with their homeroom classes. Now remember, I teach 8th graders (13-14 year olds) so it’s extremely important to go over rules and expectations especially for a community event like this. I found myself saying things to my homeroom like, “Be on your best behavior”, “We want to honor our Veterans”, or “Your behavior during this event represents me as your teacher, but also the school–don’t forget that.” Long story short, my kids were great!
Fast forward a few weeks, and the students who were awesome during the program are now doing the complete opposite. I remember talking to a couple of different students in the hall to just see what was going on with them. I told them I knew they could be awesome because I just saw it at the program. I hear them out, but then I remind them regardless of where they are–whether it’s as fancy as an official program or as mundane as walking in the hallways–they represent me, their teacher.
Then it hit me.
I. Represent. Christ.
I am no different than this kid I’m talking to in the hallway.
Quite the wake-up call if you ask me.
See I think it’s easy for us to be good representatives when we’ve just been reminded of the expectation, but what if a few days pass, or weeks pass? I know I forget, what about you?
The idea of representing Christ is so easily forgotten. It’s typical for me to go to church on Sunday and feel convicted to not gossip anymore, but as soon as the final “Amen” has been said, I’m back to talking about people in a way that’s not building up the kingdom.
In the middle of the church service (or in the midst of the “Veterans Day Program” for my students), it’s easy to represent Christ, especially when He’s at the forefront of my mind. But when the program has come to a close and reality sets in; just like my students forgot, I forget I still am representing Christ whether I’m at church or walking down the halls of my school.
We all represent something and we all imitate something.
Remember what my high school principal said? He said, “If you are wearing a Castle shirt of any kind, you are a representation of a Castle Knight wherever you are. Be a good representative of us.”
The same is true for believers, but it’s not just a shirt we get to throw into the laundry basket at the end of the day. Bur rather when we come to Christ, we are always representing who He is to the world around us.
In 3 John verse 11, it says, “Behold, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not see God.”
Change the shirt from a “Castle” shirt to a “God” shirt. You are wearing Him. Displaying His goodness wherever you go. God is good, and through the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of you, you can be good–whether you’re in church or walking down a hallway. But when we aren’t clothing ourselves in the goodness of God, we are representing evil, or the world.
I was talking to one of my friends about this, and she shared with me a quote (not sure where it’s from), but check this out: You are a visible representation of an invisible God.
I love that. We are called to represent Christ wherever and whenever. We don’t take the shirt off, it’s there. When we came to know Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we chose to take off our old self and put on a new self in Christ (Ephesians 4:22-24).
Even right now, as I’m writing this, it’s easy for me to remember I represent Christ. But how can I represent Him daily, whether I’m at church or at school? I imitate Him. What did Jesus do when He was here living on Earth?
Paul says in Ephesians 5:1-2, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us.”
We see Jesus walking in love and giving himself up for others (that’s me and that’s you).
So right now, if you proclaim Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you are wearing God’s goodness and the way you can demonstrate that to the world around you is doing what Jesus did–walk in love and give yourself up for others.
For me, when the final “Amen” is said at church, I don’t want to be gossiping, but rather I want to walk in love. I should filter everything I say and do through the lens of Jesus’ love. I can ask myself questions like: Is this conversation walking in love? Is doing (fill in the blank) walking in love? Am I thinking more about myself or others? Who is being lifted up: God or myself?
As much as I don’t want to admit it, I am just like my middle school students. They forget who they represent and so do I. But just like I’m there to remind my students who they represent, God is there for me. He takes me into the hallway (AKA my quiet time), and says, “Rachel, what’s going on? Remember whatever you’re doing or even saying, you’re representing me?”
If a camera recorded your actions/words just for a day, what kind of a representation would be found? One that’s imitating what is good, or one that’s imitating what is evil?