Summary: What do people see when they see you?
When People See You – They See….. (Part 1)
When I enlisted into the military my first assignment was basis training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX. When the other new recruits and I arrived at Lackland and got off the bus, everyone knew that we were all new recruits. Because we had not been issued our uniforms for the first couple of days, wherever we went on the base, the other recruits who were already wearing their green fatigues or dress blues called us “rainbows”. When they would march by us they would sing in cadence “Rainbows, rainbows, don’t be blue, we were once rainbows too, sound off……” This went on for several days until we got our first green fatigues and were no longer called “Rainbows”. We were promoted. Once we started wearing our green fatigues, then we were known as pickles. So those who were wearing their dress blues would sing “Pickles, pickles don’t be blue…) you get the picture. This was consistent across the base. We were recognized by what we wore. Since we were now pickles, we got to call the other new recruits rainbows.
Rainbows were recruits who wore their “street” clothes. Since those clothes were all different colors and types, they had all of the colors of the rainbow represented. Also another quick give-away was the fact that we still had our hair. These two facts told everyone else that we were new recruits. Once we got our haircuts and were issued our first uniforms (green fatigues) we were called pickles because our fatigues were green. Finally we got to wear our dress blues. Only those within two weeks of graduating were allowed to wear their dress blues so if you were seen wearing them everyone knew you were close to graduating. My point to this story is this; I was easily recognized through all of the stages of basic training because of what I was wearing. It did not matter what I knew or what was on the inside of me, it was my clothes that immediately identified what stage I was in at that moment in training. Unless you were one of the drill instructors or other airmen stationed at the base, you were a rainbow, a pickle or someone close to graduating.
I tell you this because this morning I want you to consider what others see when they see you. I know that I have talked about this before, but we are entering into a new phase of our ministry. We have “successfully” completed three years of ministry as a Church and now it is time for this Church to really begin to establish itself as a permanent Church in Johnson County. To accomplish what God has called us to do, we must first look at ourselves as individuals and then as a corporate body to determine the image that we are portraying. So I will ask you two questions. First, when people see you, do they see God? Secondly, when people come to New Light, do they see and/or feel God presence. If the answer to either of these questions is “no”, we must correct this before God can establish us. If the answer to the question one is “no” then it automatically causes the answer to question two to be “no” on some levels. This morning and on the 4th Sunday we will take a very close look at what people are seeing when they look at us.
Being able to be recognized “as something” is important. I’ve often asked people would their co-workers and friends be surprised if they walked in a Church and saw them worshipping God. Every one of us is known by something. Maybe initially it is the way you’re dress, where you live, your job, your family name and/or the vehicle you drive. These are superficial when compared to what is really important. I received an email from Cynthia titled “Ten Things God Won’t Ask On That Day”. You may have seen it. But I want to highlight a few of them:
• God won’t ask about the clothes you had in your closet. He’ll ask how many you helped to cloth.
• God won’t ask what kind of car you drove. He’ll ask how many people you drove who didn’t have transportation.
• God won’t ask the square footage of your house. He’ll ask how many people you welcomed into your home.
• God won’t ask what your job title was. He’ll ask if you performed you job to the best of your ability.
We do not know what all God will say to us on that day, but we can rest assured that He is not necessarily placing the same value on things as we are. The question before us today is whether or not we are known as children of God because when people find out you’re a Christian, they begin to look for God in us. Since people are not able to look on the inside of us, they only see what we show them through our actions. If our actions do not show off God, then we are in trouble. If people can see God in me, and in you, then our actions are the evidence of our faith in Him. This is what is important and what we must personally evaluate as individuals and corporately as a Church. Turn with me to Matthew 13:24-30.