“So what does your dad do?”
“He's a pastor.” Wait for it...
“Ohhhh...” I can hear thoughts forming and opinions coming to the surface. What will I need to explain now?
I've always liked being a pastor's kid—a PK, for short. I have to admit I sort of enjoyed growing up as the miniature celebrity status and the goodies parishioners would occasionally give us. Living in Indiana, we had a regular supply of fresh corn on the cob in the late summer. At Christmas a lady would always knit us hats and mittens.
Everyone (at church, anyway) knew who we were, and even when I went to college, so many people at the church I attended knew my dad before they knew me. It gave me an inside status that I sort of enjoyed.
There were, however, certain expectations. For the most part, my sisters and I happily did duties such as acolyte and playing our respective musical instruments in a service every now and then. We were polite, friendly, and, to a certain extent, prodded to be welcoming to guests who happened to be our ages. Forget the stereotype that PK's are wild and crazy—we were your quintessential goody two-shoes family.
I can remember several times, mostly in school, when someone, upon remembering that I was a PK, would suddenly and poorly try to correct themselves in whatever wrong they were doing. In one case, a girl at school stopped herself from cursing the moment she looked at me. Yes, that is a good thing—she recognized a wrong. But things like that always bothered me, too. Why try to act good around ME? What about all the other kids? What about the teachers? Parents?
What about God??
There's not a thing that will help you if you clean up your act around just me. I really, honestly never understood it. God's watching you all the time—I'm sure not. With his love in your heart, you should “[l]et your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” (Philippians 4:5) And in verses 8 and 9:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
It's so true that surrounding ourselves with good influences and positive things will go far in helping to make our lives more pure for Christ.
Granted, that girl at school probably did not know Christ as she should have. Perhaps he was “only a God nearby” (Jeremiah 23:23). But he “fills heaven and earth”! “'Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?' declares the Lord.” (v. 24) No! God can see you wherever you are, and your actions in front of a PK are surely not as telling of the contents of your heart as your actions when you are alone and God is the only witness.
Don't act good around me just because I'm a PK. We are called to be vulnerable. Act good with the love of Jesus overflowing from your heart and the light of eternal light shining forth!
See You In The Round,
*Scripture quotations are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.