June 30, 2011

Bona Fide - Ruth L. Snyder

Bona Fide is a Latin expression which literally means, "In good faith." The World Dictionary defines bona fide as "real or genuine: a bona fide manuscript" or "undertaken in good faith: a bona fide agreement."

Lately I have been challenged to consider whether people see me as a bona fide follower of Jesus Christ.  Two recent events in my community brought these thoughts to the forefront of my thinking. Firstly, I was delighted to hear about a grade 12 student from our local K-12 school who called a fault on himself during a badminton tournament match point. Most people watching probably didn't realize that he scooped his shot. If he had not called the fault, he could have won the match and the gold medal. However, this student is a bona fide athlete who realizes that winning at any cost is not what the game of badminton is about. Secondly, I was saddened to read about a priest in our community who has been charged with an immigration scam. He is a man expected to provide spiritual leadership, to be above reproach. Apparently, he caved to the green-eyed monster of greed and chose to participate in illegal acts to temporarily gain money. If convicted of this crime, the priest will not only bring disrepute upon his personal character and beliefs, but also upon the church he served, believers, and ultimately God.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Who you are speaks so loudly I can't hear what you're saying." The Apostle Peter urges us, "...abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent...so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God..." (I Peter 2:12 NASB)

And so, as I sit here I wonder: When people look at me, do they see someone genuine or do they see a fake? Are my actions above reproach? Do I "fudge" the truth, or am I completely honest? If someone asked my kids about my behavior at home, would it match who I am in public? Am I seeking to please God all the time, not just on Sunday? Do I measure myself against man's standards, or God's?

Each day I make many choices, usually seemingly small and insignificant. However, each choice I make either leads me closer to my Heavenly Father, or farther away from Him. Today, and every day, I need to consciously pursue God. That is the only way others will see me as a truly bona fide follower of Jesus Christ.

Ruth L. Snyder
Check out Ruth's blog on education matters at www.trusteesnyder.blogspot.com.
Follow Ruth on Twitter @wwjdr
Facebook www.facebook.com/ruthlsnyder