Thursday, March 13, 2014

Marked (Vanity Tags)

The other day when I was taking Joshua down to Little Rock, we got stopped at the light just up the street. I looked up and the van in front of me had a personalized tag that read: DISNEY. Oh my goodness! LOVE! And, they also had a magnetic Mickey stuck on the back...the kind that is just the 2 small circles for the ears, and the one larger circle representing his head.

A true Disney fan just knows.

It was a not-so-hidden Mickey.

We are a big Disney family. Not that we go all the time...we don't. But we'd like to! My sister, Leanne? They DO go...a LOT.

I'm so jealous.

In fact, just this week, my sister took her 4 kids and 4 of their friends to Disney herself...for their Spring Break. Leanne plus 8. She is amazing!

Anyway, I was really tickled to see the DISNEY tag. Mainly because DISNEY. And also...are you like me...when you see some tags with letters on them and you rack your brain trying to figure out what it's trying to spell? BTRLVR. Butter Lover? Better Lover? Big Troll Lover?


Around here, they're called, "Vanity Tags," and before someone says something u-g-l-y, let me say that I do not believe every person who gets a personalized tag is vain. It's what PEOPLE around here call them...not me.

In fact, my sister got one for me years ago with the word, "MOOSE," on it...that's what my husband calls me. It wasn't one of the state issued ones that you can order. This was one that you could put on the front of your vehicle (here in Arkansas, we only have our license plates on the backs of our cars). I was so excited to put it on my vehicle, but Jim nixed that idea real fast. He drives my vehicle some, and said he didn't want people thinking his nickname was "MOOSE."


And he didn't want people thinking he would put his own nickname on his own vehicle.

It started me thinking. As Christians, we are all marked, aren't we? "Tagged," so to speak. We should be, right? Marked by Jesus? Redeemed...washed in His blood...saved by His grace...set apart...not conforming but being transformed daily. All of that should leave a mark. We should stand out.

We don't have any sort of visible label or tag on us, but what if we did? What if we had a "vanity tag" on our backs that read, "Christian" or "Christ-follower?" Or, CRSCHEN? Or CRSTFLR? Eeek! I feel like that might be sacrilegious.

So, what if people who know we have been "marked" by Christ...maybe they know we are Christians, or maybe they just think we are "different"...what if they see us living in a way that doesn't line up?

Last Wednesday, I was headed to church. The road takes me by the High School. It was not during school hours, but our police enforce a strict speed limit through school zones at all times. I saw a vehicle come up behind me and it was riding close on my bumper. I had already noticed it in my rear-view mirror, passing cars, moving quickly. Not being erratic, just going faster than everyone else.  I watched as it passed me and I saw the vanity tag: "HOLINES" (in Arkansas, you can only have 7 characters on a license plate). I watched as it passed me and two more cars, and then darted over into the right lane. I wondered if they were going to church. I wondered if they were going to MY church.

I know...that's wrong to think...but seriously? If you're gonna have a vanity tag like that, you're gonna have to drive the speed limit. A friend of mine has 1COR13 on hers. I joked and said she was gonna have to let every car merge in front of her now. You know those irritating people who get in the other lane and pass everyone, only to merge at the very.last.second? I had a lady at our former church tell me, "I will wreck my car before I let someone like that in front of me."


I think that's why our pastor was cautioning everyone about getting church license be AWARE and to seriously consider if that would be a good witness for the church...or not.

You know, we can't hold people who are not Christians...those who have not accepted Jesus as their the same standard of behavior as we would those who are. And for Christians, there's grace...for sure. I need it every day...don't you?

I read a quote on Pinterest that said, "what other people think of you is none of your business."

Well...I get the point...not to worry over jealous or bitter feelings others have when it's of no fault of your own. But, the Bible does talk about our reputations...about staying on the right path...and things to avoid.

We are all marked. We are all labeled. We might not know how others see us, but we know how we see others...right? Haven't you been somewhere...seen something they wrote...heard something they said...and it made you wonder? And while we aren't supposed to judge others, knowing the truth of a person's character can keep us out of a lot of trouble. And being aware that others are watching us is something we all need to consider. We are to reflect Christ.

Who do you reflect?

Who do I reflect?

"...let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

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