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“Pastor Mike” and a zip code scrawled out on a business sized envelope; that was all there was. A few months ago I pulled this correspondence out of my post box and was surprised when I noticed what a small amount of information there was on the outside of the envelope.

Admittedly, I live in a smaller town with a population of just under 2000, but this letter with it’s scant indentification was a real eye-opener for me. If someone at the post office knew just where to put that letter, it probably meant that they know.

Stop and Think

As I pondered this idea a question came to mind; what do they really think about me? Do they watch the way I greet people when I walk into the post office. When I buy stamps and supplies am I giving them a good example of what it means to be a real Christian, a good pastor, and a decent human being? Or, when they looked at that letter with just my name and zip code, did negative thoughts emerge. All of this may sound trite, but it caused me to stop and really think.

We’re being watched. As difficult as it may be to internalize, it’s really the truth. People from all walks of life are noticing us everyday. They see us interact with our families in the grocery store. They listen to us talk on the cell phone while we’re waiting in line. They observe the magazines that we purchase, and the mail that we pull out of our post office boxes as they walk by. They watch how we treat our spouses, and they notice how we relate to our kids. Our lives, at least in part, are on display for anyone we come in contact with to see. That’s a sobering thought.

I claim to be a Christian, but if my life doesn’t jive with my claim, I’m not the only one who pays the price. I actually hurt the name of God when the two add up. It makes me think of that poem with the line; “I’d rather see a sermon than to hear one anyday.” If my life and claim are clearly connected, that’s exciting. If they’re not, perhaps it’s time to re-think what it really means to be a follower of God. Why? Because people are watching.

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By Michael Temple. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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