People Watching

January 12, 2007

People watching can be quite fun, but serious misconceptions or assumptions can be made. 

Every day i travel with the same bunch of people on the train.  I’ve tried to guess where they are all heading at such a ridiculous hour of 5.30am.  You can gain some clues from what a person eats, the literature they read or the music they have blasting out their headphones.

I’ve spotted some Christians or people interested in the faith by their early morning reading material.  I do wonder though what they’ve gleaned about me.

I started to think about whether my faith was evident to those i pass, and if God’s light mysteriously shone from me in a way i cannot explain or whether i hide my light under a bush in order that i may fit in.

It’s the old thing of asking, “Is there enough evidence to convict you of being a Christian?”.  By that i don’t mean a Pharisaaic lifestyle of carrying a neon sign saying ‘at prayer’ or ‘holy person’.

How would people know you are a believer rather than simply a nice person?

ps After the weekend ‘The Gossiping Goose’


28 Responses to “People Watching”

  1. jarvis said

    “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:35

    Wonderful Thoughts Maria…
    Blessings in Christ Sis

  2. I fear far too often there wouldn’t be enough to accuse me.

  3. Jason99 said

    Sometimes, the first step in being a light for the Lord is being noticably different. If you’re nicer than the average person, sooner or later, someone is going to try to figure out why.

  4. Joni Ruhs said

    Jarvis’ comment hit me like a ton of bricks. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. That’s so perfectly clear. I wonder why its taken me so long to get that. Good stuff.

  5. timglass said

    One thing I’m learning, is to just smile.Let my inner joy shine through the day to day grind. People notice it.
    His blessings this day.

  6. Celeste said

    Thanks for this…it made me wonder just how many people around me could actually tell that I am a Christian…hmm, a challenge!

    Thanks 🙂

  7. inhisgrace said

    as strange as this sounds, before i came to Christ i can tell if a person is a Christian. after i came to Christ i realise that i can tell if a person is a practising Christian. i’m sure i can tell if i meet you too and i’m certain you’re glowing God’s beauty 🙂

  8. Lorna said

    more to the point – where are you going at 5:30? and why so early???

  9. timbob said

    This is something that we all must give continuous attention to. To ensure that we’re good ambassadors for Christ. I struggle with this as much as anyone. A very timely and needful reflection for all. The talk and the walk must be in agreement. I’m certain that you are a “city on a hill” wherever you go and your love for Christ shows in each post.

  10. DulceDiana said

    I often think about this as well. When too many thoughts wonder in my head I always call out, “Holy Spirit, you know me more than I know myself. Please just let me a blessing.”
    I know he will take care of the rest.


  11. Dave said

    Enough evidence? At a personal level – I don’t think so. But recently I have been challenged by this quote of Thomas Merton:

    “It is in the ordinary duties and labours of life that the Christian can and should develop his spiritual union with God.”

    I would suggest that by developing your spiritual union with God, through everyday life events, then the love of Christ will break through and, as ‘timbob’ says above, “The talk and walk must be in agreement” for this to happen.

    Bless you Maria.

  12. stuart delony said

    well one thing would be engaging people in conversation. too many times we keep our lives so self contained that we never bump into anyone when we’re out and about. we just move unnoticed.

    so let yourself be noticed. talk to the person next to you.

    if apperances are deceptive, then be more than an apperance.

  13. kaymac said

    I am an avid people watcher. Good point, I rarely think about the fact that people are also watching me.

  14. Chris D said

    It’s true that we watch people and they watch our actions, etc. But they will know we are Christians by our love not only for each other but also towards them. And that requires commitment and risk.

    Are we ready to risk?

    Have a great weekend!

  15. Lisa said

    Someone else mentioned engaging others in conversation. I recently realized that, rather than taking a book with me when I’m somewhere I have to wait, not having a book forces me to mingle with others more. We’re not going to make much of an impression on people by sticking our nose in a book. My mom-in-law also recently told me about a man who did something really nice for one of her kids when he was young. When she thanked the man for it, he said something along the lines of, “it’s by the grace of God I’m able to do it,” and that is something she’s carried with her for more than 25 years. We can think of something like that to say when someone thanks us for a kindness that we do (which, of course, we do because of our love for others).

  16. helenl said

    Hi Maria. You pose a sobering question.

  17. “Let your light so shine before men, that may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

    Also, though, we need to realize what these people’s eternal consequences are if they don’t repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. It’s NOT just about putting on a Christian appearance: we HAVE to make a concerted effort to witness to people–there are SOULS AT STAKE here!!!

    A previous commenter mentioned whether or not we should read books in public. I agree that we should not isolate ourselves from the world: we have to be “in” it, while not being “of” it. However, carrying a Bible or other Christian material could be a real conversation starter–and a good resource right then and there.

    By the way, HI Maria! I’ve seen you around “Christian Think” and “Climbing the Ladder of His Will” a lot. I link to both of those blogs, and they link to my blog. I was wondering if you might be interested in patroning my blog occasionally.

    ~Kingdom Advancer
    Never Retreat. Always Advance. If God Be For Us, Who Can Be Against?

  18. I echo jarvis…LOVE. Living the BEATITUDES.

  19. Trekant said

    Dallas Willard wrote a couple of great chapters about God using you where you are in his book “The Divine Conspiracy.” I’m challenged by them every time I pick up that book.

    Great blog here. I stumbled across it and couldn’t stop reading. This blog IS a ministry! -Thanks

  20. Thanks for your thoughts. I have often wondered many times when seeing people what is their stories whether in restaurants, hotels or just about in different cities.

    I appreciate the fact that God can catch our attention by little things that others do and don’t do.

    Thanks for reminding me to always let my light so shine.

    Have a great day and thanks again.

    P.S. I got here by way of Sis. Elms (LJoyE)

  21. Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

  22. lody said

    If we truly are created to glorify God, as the bible says, we are, then we must not make everything about us! Our existence/creation is to glorify Him, as we learn/mature and listen to Him, by reading the bible and asking for wisdom personally, we can extend His love. His love, is unconditional and breaks thru many social barriers. We as beleivers have the power to extend this love (if we tap into it) and that is how people will know we are christians. By the love we extend from Jesus! They will know we are christians by our love!

  23. A Christian is one who trusts Christ alone to be their Savior, not by their works but by their faith alone. Others cannot see that fact in me or you.

    A Christian is not automatically a disciple. A disciple is a “learner” and this does not happen until said Christian makes a decision to learn of Christ after trusting Christ as Savior.

    I know many wonderful “glowing” religionists who deny the sufficiency of Christ’s death on the cross for their eternity. They could be mistaken for a true Christian by their apparent “glow” and charitable actions. My sister was one of those.

    A very good friend of mine could be mistaken for a Christian because of his impeccable behavior, speech and “religious” actions, yet privately, he admits to me, he knows not Jesus Christ as his Savior.

    Christians can only be identified by their words. Until I share my belief that Jesus died for me on the cross and I am trusting Him alone for Heaven, no one will ever know I am a true Christian. My Light is Jesus Christ. Until I speak about my Light, I am just another “nice” person.


  24. Timi said

    I always say…
    “You don’t know who & who is admiring you or even takes you to be a role model until you disappoint them.”
    This makes us to consciously makes us to project our lives to reflect who we believe in (our faith). At first, it may not be easy but someone rightly said, “Excellence is not an act but a habit, we are what we repeatedly do.”

  25. imkwv said

    11Good site!!!!!

  26. vkkst said

    Nice site 5862! Good site!!!

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