A Letter about YOU

If you were a letter, what would that letter say? We are writing our letters each day. Each of us has the spiritual sense to make our personal letter a shining example of Christliness.

By Caryl W. Krueger

Categories: New Year/Change

If you were a letter, rather than a parent or youngster, what would that letter say? Paul, in his letter to the Corinthian church members, asks just that question. (See Second Corinthians 3 and 4.) He calls this letter an epistle, which is just a nice synonym for letter.

In his paraphrase of this passage, Eugene H. Peterson says in his book "The Message":

"Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it - not with ink, but with God's living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives- and we publish it." So actually it is a letter of recommendation we're recording, putting down the wonderful words that the Christ himself uses to describe us.


And we are writing our letters each day. Does this letter say we are cranky or happy, cooperative or obstinate, diligent or lazy, caring or hateful? As this new year begins, find a quiet time to talk with the family about the contents of the letter that each of them is writing daily.


Do you know that anyone can read this letter about us? Ouch! But Paul goes on to say that we are "able ministers....of the spirit". No matter what our age or occupation, we are capable workers, able to let our epistle be a guide to others as well as an example of what we believe is true about ourselves.


While the King James translation says that this letter is "known and read of all men:", Peterson says "we publish it." Now, when we publish something, we proclaim it for all to read and understand. It's a bit like wearing a shirt that blares out a message or carrying a poster that states what we stand for.


Depending on the age of your children, let them decide what might be the most important message they would like to broadcast about themselves. (It might say helpful or funny or joyful.) Then consider what message could be gotten rid of this year. (It might be argumentative or forgetful or procrastinating.) Sum up your chat by emphasizing the true Christ-written message about each family member - a perfect reflection of God's boundless goodness.


Once when working on a project like this with a Sunday school class, each 6-year-old made a name tag to wear, telling what message he or she wanted others to know. One boy's message said "Helpful" and when his Dad saw it in the church lobby, he said "That's news to me." And the boy quickly said, "Well, it's true because Jesus said so."


Our personal epistles can shine brighter than ever in this new year. Paul says "...God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." Each of us has the spiritual sense to make our personal letter a shining example of Christliness.