Have you ever decided to go see a movie, then read the reviews and changed your mind? I’m sure you have. My wife and I were going to have a date night and see a movie. She suggested a movie that looked funny on the trailers. I then pulled out my phone, opened up the Flixter app to check the reviews. They have reviews by the “professionals” and reviews by the “viewers”. Both were poor so we decided to do something else.
In this digital age, we can read reviews on just about anything. Going to do business with someone on eBay, check their rating. Thinking about working with a local vendor on something, check out their reviews online. Just about everything has reviews online these days. However, before the internet, reviews still existed, just in a different form. Products were always reviewed in “Consumer Reports”. Hotels and destinations are reviewed by AAA and in their Tour Books. But local business didn’t really have any kind of review, instead they relied on recommendations (like a verbal review). Like applying for a job, we could utilize a letter of recommendation as a ‘review’ on us for our potential new employer.
The letter of recommendation served as a way for someone who doesn’t yet know the subject of the letter, to become acquainted with that person or business, by way of a satisfied customer/employer. This helps them to make a decision on whether or not to do business with that company or hire that person.
In 2 Corinthians 3, Paul refers to us, the church, as letters of recommendation of Christ. “You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” (v 2-3). This means that our actions, how we treat others, how we behave, is to serve as a recommendation of Christ to others. Someone unfamiliar with the love of Christ, will want to watch you (kind of like reading a letter of recommendation about how Christ has affected you) to help determine if they should pursue Him.
In the movie “To Save a Life”, a teenage kid faces a traumatic event causing him to struggle with realizing something is missing from his life. However, as he beings to watch other Christians, he is puzzled by the number of ‘fakers’ he sees. Their ‘letters of recommendation’ were not very good. The pastor rightfully points out that “yes, there are a lot of fakers in there (meaning the Church), but many of them are at least trying. But it’s not about them, what about you?”
Luckily for this teenage kid, he had a pastor that helped him to ignore the bad letters and focus on his relationship with Christ (movies with a happy ending of course). However my point in this blog is to ask you what’s on your letter of recommendation? If people observe you to determine if pursuing Christ is a good thing or not… will they want to pursue Him based on ‘reading your letter’.
Consider your letter carefully. Reflect on how you react to trying situations, how you treat others, how you serve, how you show His love. Because your letter may be the only letter someone reads when they make the decision to pursue Him.