I ran into a friend yesterday, one I had not seen in a long time. At first I thought him the brother of my friend; the resemblance was striking, yet the difference caused me to doubt. Then he spoke to me and all doubts disappeared; it was my friend. His appearance had changed because of weight loss which radically changed his physical appearance. Could weight loss or coloring of hair cause a person’s appearance to change so drastically that friends would be fooled? Better yet, could an encounter with God change behavior, outward actions, and friends would know it – not because they were told in words, but because it showed!
Shortly after I met my friend, I witnessed a toddler throwing a tantrum while walking beside her Dad at a flea market. Blond hair fell away from her pretty little face as she looked up with admiring eyes toward her father. “Daddy, I want that dolly!” She had caught sight of a china doll sitting atop an antique display. “No, Honey, that dolly would break and we would both be sad.” Wise man, I thought to myself. She did not see the wisdom in his advice. Immediately the beautiful face contorted to an ugly copy of herself and she screamed, “I want that dolly!!”
For the next few minutes I watched him explain the fragile condition of the doll and why it wouldn’t be a proper toy for her. Obviously, he was spending time with a child who was not under his guardianship 24/7. The temper tantrum normally worked with whomever she spent time with, but now he had no choice but to pick her up bodily and leave with her screaming all the more. She proved my point; her actions revealed her heart. Sometimes we reveal what influences us by our actions. What influences your reaction to life’s incidents? Do your actions reveal your time spent with the Father?
If we look into my favorite BOOK would we find any good examples of character shining forth in every walk of life? How about Job – who lost everything, yet praised the name of the Lord? “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21) Or Daniel –who was told NOT TO PRAY to his God. “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home, in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.” (Daniel 6:10) Their actions revealed their faith, their time spent with God.
Faith is a mysterious thing. The longer practiced the stronger and more obvious it becomes. Why don’t you put my point to the test? Spend more time with our Heavenly Father and see if it doesn’t change your appearance, internal and external. You will help your friends see the difference in the way you look, the way you speak, and the way you act.