What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
photo credit: AntiochOG
I recently came across the story of Clay Kitchins from Houston, Texas. Kitchins, a Ron Paul supporter, has recently blanketed his car with bumper stickers advertising his favorite presidential candidate. In a video segment, Kitchins mentions how he has improved his driving etiquette now that he’s a marked (albeit unofficial) representative of Ron Paul.
The reason behind this behavioral improvement stems from Kitchins not wanting to be responsible for associative animosity. Should he cut somebody off in traffic, that person might, even if subconsciously, think negatively of Ron Paul or oppose him in the election.
The same situation occurs when a person travels on business as a representative of his employer’s company. Marked in a polo shirt or with business cards, you become associated with the label you have taken upon yourself. Should you act offensively or completely incompetent, your business will suffer.
What I find in these examples is a pattern for representing the Savior. When we take His name upon us—something we regularly and frequently promise to do—we become His representatives by association. If we mistreat another, refuse to aid the poor, or harshly judge somebody, we cast an unfortunate reflection up on the Man with whom we claim to identify.
Whether our representation is official (e.g. a missionary, bishop, or other called and sustained official) or not, we who claim to be children of Christ must remember the example we inherently set in the eyes of those around us. We may not have voluntarily marked ourselves with an outward token of our inward commitment (such as a bumper sticker, nametag, or uniform), but the mandate to take Christ’s name upon us requires that we each reflect His love and teachings to all who might be watching.