On my drive home recently I stopped at a traffic light. Two vehicles were idling ahead of me, also waiting for the light to turn green. Immediately in front of me was a mini-van with an ichthus fastened to its back end.

What is an ichthus, you ask?

Have you ever noticed the outline of a fish fastened on the back of an automobile? That is an ichthus. "Ichthus" means "fish" in Greek. It is a symbol of Christianity that dates back to the first century. Sometimes the outline contains five Greek letters in its body. The letters (Iota, Chi, Theta, Upsilon and Sigma) are an acrostic for "Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter", or "Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior". As noted in Christianity Today magazine, "the symbol is still used today to show that the bearer is a practicing Christian."

Though the van carried the mark of a practicing Christian, the behavior of its driver did not. As soon as the traffic light turned green, the van driver impatiently honked his horn at the hapless car in front of him. Once they crossed the intersection he rapidly veered to the right, sped past the lead car, shot back to the left across two lanes of traffic, then barrelled out of sight. There is no reason for anyone to drive with such insolence.

It got me thinking - I hope people don't judge Jesus Christ by those of us who claim to be his ambassadors, because we don't always do a very good job of representing him. For thousands of years things have been done in his name that do not come close to reflecting his nature. Some of the things make reckless driving seem pretty tame in comparison.

Some readers of this article may not be Christian. If this applies to you I ask, for your benefit, that you look beyond the tainted efforts of the "followers" and seek a relationship with the one we strive to follow. Christianity is a relationship, a process. It is not perfection.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard. - Romans 3:23

For those who are Christians, I ask that we help each other live up to our calling as representatives, ambassadors of Christ. And remember that the lights are always on, and the camera is always rolling. Drive with courtesy. Live with courtesy.

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. - Colossians 3:17

So we are Christ's ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, "Come back to God!" - 2 Corinthians 5:20

Author's Bio: 

Humorist Will Rogers once observed, "There are three kinds of men - ones that learn by reading, a few who learn by observation, and the rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves."

Though he has never braved a real electric fence, Larry understands the above metaphor all too well. His life is more a series of clumsy learning experiences than a polished "how-to" manual.

Remarkably, God has called Larry to share these slices of imperfection and accumulated wisdom with readers from over thirty countries around the world - those fortunate souls who prefer to learn through reading and observation.

Larry's first book, Get the Prize, was published in 2003. He is currently writing his second book, expected to be released in 2010.

He lives in Canada with his wife and four children.

Click here to visit larryhehn.com