I'm watching the big Game 5 of the National League Divisional Series game, the deciding game with the teams tied 2-2 in the series, between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals. I'm very hopeful that the Pirates will be able to take it tonight with a win, but it's going to be tough. Bucs' rookie Gerrit Cole is pitching tonight, and he was lights out last week in Game 2. But Wainwright, the Cards' pitcher, is an ace, and completely dominated the Bucs in Game 1.
Watching the Cards' catcher, Yodier Molina, while batting, he crossed himself, as Catholics do, and it made me think about how others know if you are or I am a Christian. Sure, we can wear jewelry, such as a cross necklace, or crucifix. Maybe we have an Ichthys (fish) on the back bumper of our car. The Jewish faith has the Star of David as a symbol, which can be worn as jewelry, as well. Other faiths may require certain clothing, or a turban or yarmulke. I wear a cross necklace, but no one ever sees it since it's always under my shirt.
But besides all that, if there isn't something obvious, how would someone know if you are a Christian? Well, there's the song by Peter Scholtes, "They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love". Do we actively show love in our actions or words? I do try, but I know I don't always. When someone cuts me off while I'm driving down the road, I might yell at them, or glare at them at the next light. I'm certainly not showing love in my actions in that situation. I might get angry at something my boss does, and say something negative with a colleague. That's not using love in my words. There are times that I do try, though.
I make no secret of the fact that I am a Christ follower. I talk actively about my faith at work, not to influence anyone or anything like that, but I tell people that my faith is important to me, and I've quoted the Bible, as well. Working for the Federal Government (shutdown or not), and being a manager, I do have to be careful what I say and in what capacity, but I know my employees know I'm a Christ follower. My wife, who was a teacher at a public school, also made no secret of the fact that she followed Christ. Every year, the students and teachers did a "rally around the flag pole" where they prayed before school started, and she regularly participated in that, as well as sponsoring the students Christians group. She actively practiced showing her love in her words and actions with her students. It didn't matter what religion they practiced, there was no favoritism in her class.
I wish I was a better person and could always show Christ's love in everything I do, but I don't. It's hard. Though I don't always show it, I am quick to get angry in certain situations. I get jealous when I see couples exchanging affection, knowing that I don't have someone in my life to share my affection, or if someone has a nicer house than me. I get easily frustrated when things don't go my way. I can be lazy at times, just wanting to sit on the couch, watch TV, and veg, when I know I should really be more active. These are things that I know are not "Christ-like". And at those times, it would not be apparent to someone watching me that I consider myself a Christian. As I said, it's hard. We can try, but we're not going to be as successful as we'd like.
It's because we're human, of course. Our sinful nature won't allow us to ever be perfect. So we have to understand that the only way to eternal life is through Christ, giving our hearts to Him and asking Him to bear the weight of the wrongs we have done, and if we do that, we will know Him and find eternal life. It's the only way.
I hope you're having a great evening. It's 2-0, Cardinals, in the 6th inning. It's not looking good for my Pirates. I remain hopeful for a win.