Two cars were waiting at a stoplight. The light turned green, but the man in the first vehicle did not notice. The woman in the car behind him watched as the traffic passed around them. The woman honked her horn and yelled, “It’s green, you idiot!” The man just sat in his car, apparently oblivious to what was happening. The woman started to go ballistic inside her car, ranting and raving, pounding on her steering wheel and dashboard. The light turned yellow, and the woman blasted her horn again, made an obscene gesture, and screamed a string of profanities at the man. The fellow looked up, saw the yellow light, stepped on the gas pedal, and raced through the intersection just as the light turned red.
Having missed the chance to get through the intersection, the woman continued to scream in frustration. While she was still mid-rant, she heard a loud tap on her window. She looked up to see a gun pointing at her, held by a very serious looking police officer. He told her to shut off the car while keeping both hands in sight. Speechless at what was happening, she complied. The policeman then ordered her to get out of the car and put her hands up. She did that, and he then placed her in handcuffs and told her to get in the police car. He took her to the police station where she was fingerprinted, photographed, booked, and placed in a cell.
After a couple of hours, another policeman approached the cell and opened the door. He escorted the woman back to the station desk where the original officer was waiting for her. “You are free to go. I’m very sorry for the mistake. But you see, I pulled behind your car while you were blowing your horn, making nasty gestures, and cussing a blue streak. Then I noticed the chrome plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk and the “What Would Jesus Do?” bumper sticker. Naturally I assumed you had stolen the car.”
Friends, it is wonderful when people try to testify of their Christian faith by wearing a cross or having a Christian bumper sticker on their vehicle. We need to remember, however, that our actions (as well as words) speak much louder than any symbols we may display. When I choose to publically identify myself as a Christian, it is important that I do my best to make sure my behavior is consistent with how Jesus wants me to live. Much harm has been done to the Christian church by folks who claim to be followers of Christ, but who don’t act that way. Friend, if you are a believer in Jesus, ask God to help you make sure that what you do matches who you are.
Yours, depending on God’s grace to help me each day,
Rev. Dan Erickson
Senior Pastor, Chisholm Baptist Church