2 Corinthians 3:2-3 – The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This "letter" is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. (NLT)
Once a year before Christmas, I write a family newsletter, which I then send to friends and relatives. It depicts the major as well as some of the minor happenings of our life throughout the year. I always begin the letter with a Scripture verse of encouragement and hope, and end the letter with a blessing.
Some years, the letter contains highlights of celebration and joy, while other years, a thread of sadness weaves it way amidst the words, depending upon the season of life that we have experienced in the previous twelve months. Whatever the case, however, the circumstances outlined within the letter are always penned with a view to the marvellous hand of God working amidst them, for indeed, as Paul wrote to the Corinthians, as Christians, we are a letter from Christ to our world. This letter, written on our human hearts, is not one which is simply sent out once a year. It is a letter that people read each day. For every day, the letter written on our hearts greets people within our homes, our places of employment, and our communities.
Thinking of my life in such a way has been a huge reminder to me in regard to what people may be reading when I am with them. Do they read the love of Christ? Do they bask in the joy of the Lord? Are they encouraged by my hope within? Are they blessed by a spirit of forgiveness and acceptance, even on my worst of days? Or do they read words that I would be ashamed to know about?
If I am truthful, I will have to say that sometimes they do, for my humanity can spill the obliterating ink of sin across the letter of my life and the fruit of the Spirit within me when I least expect it. The good news, however, is that my life letter is not only being written for others to see, but also for me to read and experience, as God forgives my sin when I repent and the whiteout of Christ's blood shed on the cross blots and refreshes the page to once again be written upon for all to see.
The choice of what I will rewrite on that page is mine, just as it is yours when such a thing happens to you. For each of us is a letter written by Christ to our world.
Today, each one of us has been granted the privilege of starting another new page of our life letter. Not only do I wonder how it will read to those around us by the end of the day, but also, I pray that we might all choose our words carefully, words not written with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for a brand new page of life to write upon this day. May our writing be inspired by You and Your Spirit, that the letter of our life may be a recommendation of You and Your love to all those who read it. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "Child In The Manger" (Lyrics)