The year was 1982.
The youth group in our church planned a weekend trip to another city some 300 miles far from São Paulo where we lived.
We needed about 10 cars to take everybody, but I had a 1974 Chevette, and I was not sure if it would be able to handle the 600 mile round trip.
At that time I was dating Liz and she had an aunt who was running for a State Representative for one of the major political parties. To help their candidates the party made available a brand new VW Passat painted with their name, as well as several other candidates for other positions. Besides that, the car had loud speakers on the roof, so the candidates could advertise their platform as they drove around.
Well, I was offered to take that car for our trip and I gladly accepted, so we hit the road with this moving billboard.
During the trip we made a restroom stop at a gas station, so we fell behind the other cars from our group. That’s when I decided to catch up by going a little faster than the speed limit, which didn’t last very long: I was stopped by the Highway Patrol.
As soon as the officer came to my window he expressed his frustration over my behavior.
He said that by breaking the law I was hurting the image of “our party”. He went on and on about how bad it would look for people to see a representative of the party doing something illegal.
Despite the embarrassment, I was happy that he decided to let us go, after finishing his sermon and obtaining my commitment that I would not do that again.
Actually I had to admit that he was right: I was representing the party, and my behavior would reflect in people’s perception.
This memory hit me the other day when I was preparing the Bible study we are doing in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.
As I started studying chapter 4, I read this: “Therefore, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received”.
In the first three chapters of Ephesians Paul presents how God has loved us and provided salvation by His grace, so we can have a relationship with Him. Now Paul starts to describe the expectations for our lives as a consequence of that relationship.
We don’t need to behave a certain way to be accepted by God, but because we have been accepted by Him.
People are watching us and the way we live may bring them closer to the Lord, or push them away.
Are we living a life worthy of our calling?