“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
As a native North Carolinian, I carry a pretty heavy southern accent that can’t help but draw attention. While on a recent business trip in California, people stopped me mid-sentence and asked, “So, where are you from? Is it Tennessee? Georgia?” My slower drawl immediately signaled that I was a southern gal, and there was little I could do but fully embrace it and stand proudly with my slower syllables and sweet tea yearnings.
While the attention drawn by my accent was at first overwhelming, it soon became a marker of confidence, as I realized that it is okay to be known by your community. And I would argue that the same is true of the Christian walk. It’s okay and even commanded in the Bible to be known by our faith family.
When we know and claim Jesus, then we are marked with his character, his community, his compassion, and his care. Being a resident of the “Jesus Community” essentially means that we should talk like Him, walk like Him, and love others like Him. As reminded in John 13:35, claiming Christ as Savior means that everyone around us should know that we are his.
Galatians 2:20 similarly reminds us that being crucified with Christ settles our citizenship. Just like my accent reveals my southern upbringing, so too should our daily actions, thoughts, and deeds loudly reveal our role as disciples of Christ who are excited share the Gospel. But sometimes that is easier said than done, so we pray for courage to embrace.
Dear God, help me to desire to live every day as an excited, known disciple of yours.
Dr. Lori Brown is an educator and believer who writes for the academic and faith-based sector. You can find more of her weekly inspirations and speaking ministry information on Facebook.