I will never forget the look on his face.
It was this time of year – early spring. The time of year when church camps around the country start seriously getting down to the business of prepping camp for the summer program.
We were doing the same. But we had one major problem.
So we called Dan. Dan was known all over the county as THE septic tank guy. He would know what needed to happen — what repairs would we need.
Within minutes of his arrival we had exposed the clean out caps for the tank and Dan pointed to an access hole and in his simple matter of fact language pointed out we needed to have someone reach up in the pipe and find the obstruction and pull it out. Simple. Nasty, but simple.
I immediately dropped on the ground and reached up into the pipe in search of the problem.
My friend — whose timing is always impeccable — chose that moment to introduce me to Dan.
“Dan, this is my minister.”
Dan’s response was great. While muttering expletives and apologizing for them at the same time he hauled me up and proclaimed that a minister shouldn’t be doing this type of work nor did I look or act anything like ministers he knew.
What does a minister look like? What does a disciple look like ?
We tend too often to impose our own image of what is right and wrong. Amish dress plainly. Mennonites in similar fashion. Some churches believe only those dressed in suit and tie are “appropriately” attired.
NO tattoos. Or maybe tattoos required? Jeans or no jeans? Hair up? Facial hair? Females in pants?
We can get really crazy about all this. We haven’t even brought up music!
What does a disciple look like? I think I have an answer. It will seem simplistic, but there is biblical backing for it.
They look like Love. God is love. We are to look more and more like Christ. If love is at the very center of who He is – then we look like love.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
James reminds us that we should constantly be looking in the mirror and making appropriate changes.
22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.
So take a look. Make some changes. And stop looking at other disciples and trying to measure their status by outward appearance.
Do they love like Jesus?