by Steve Coleman
Recently I was sitting in a meeting and got one of those texts that make you nervous; it read, “I need to talk to you about something that happened last night.”
Immediately the nervousness hit at the bottom of my stomach, and the top too really. But who doesn’t feel that way when those words come through after an incredible youth event, mid-week worship experience and a great time of fellowship?
My response was “What’s Up? Hope it is something good?” the tone showing hopefulness. Sure enough, the Children’s Director in our church had asked the children “What does Jesus look like?” and one of the elementary children said, “Mr. Steve!” Whew, I laughed and responded with, “Out of the mouth of babes.”
Looking Like Jesus in Every Area
I started thinking over the question though for us as adults, leaders, parents and Youth Ministers, “Do You Look Like Jesus?” Granted, I have a beard/goatee and maybe that is what the child saw when she said I looked like him. But the thought goes deeper than that: Do we look like Jesus in our jobs, families, with friends, at the game, during the hardships or even the good times?
What does Jesus look like in our world? Do we represent Jesus in a positive light or are we negative, complaining, whining and being a religious pain to other people? Are we the type of people that expect the lost and unbelieving to ‘act’ better and do we have signs and banners condemning those that do not meet the standards set forth in scripture for believers? Do people see the love, grace, mercy and kindness of Jesus given freely in salvation or do they just see judgment looking down at a sinful world?
“Looking Like” by Living Like
What does it look like in our lives to “look like Jesus?” Is it the time when people sacrifice their weekend to sponsor a Single Mom’s Oil Change in their church parking lot, free to single moms and those of the military whose husband is deployed? Does looking like Jesus mean taking care of the orphans, the widows, the homeless and the hopeless by being there for them in a nonjudgmental way? Does being like Jesus mean sacrificing your time to listen to a teen talk about suicidal thoughts, failures, a bad break up at age 14 thinking there will never be another? Is being Jesus to someone more like listening and less like standing on a stage with lights, a microphone and a sermon?
Being like Jesus in the Youth Ministry area many times is much more than games, soft drinks, pizza, and fun stuff. That may be the draw for many students, but the being like Jesus is when you take the time, the one on one time, to sit in a coffee shop for an hour or two, to listen to a student, to answer questions and then show them in Scripture God’s truth. Truth of Jesus himself. Truth of God loving them unconditionally. Show them love by sharing stories of your own life, struggles, failures, and your insecurities.
The Only Jesus They’ll See
What I am trying to get to is this: you may be the only Jesus many people will ever see in their lives. You may be the only true Christian they have ever seen. Represent the Lord Jesus well. It may be outside your comfort zone, but I can assure you they are looking for someone to be authentic. Be real, honest, and live consistently in your walk with Christ. Perfect? No, only Jesus was, but you can be real, which is something our world sees too little of in the culture. So today, act like, walk like, and look like Jesus to everyone around you.