One night last week I took my wife out to eat. We enjoy going to a nice restaurant from time to time, but this night we just wanted to get something good to eat and bring it back to the house. We decided to go to a little place that had been very good in the few times we had been to it. It is a hole in the wall place that is what I would describe as Hibachi food without the fireworks, similar to a Tokyo Grill.
When we entered the restaurant we immediately noticed that the staff looked a little different than we had remembered. The other times we had been there a nice Asian man had greeted us and took our order. Today, a young Hispanic girl was there to take our order. We also noticed that the cooking staff was Hispanic as well. When we looked up at the big board above the counter with the menu items listed it had not changed. The standard fare of Hibachi and teriyaki items was still there as well as offerings of types of sushi. Below the big board however was a white dry erase board that had a big title written across the top that read “Friday’s Specials.” The sign looked a lot like this:
Quesadilla (Chicken, beef, or cheese) $6
Burrito (Chicken, beef) $5
Enchilada (Chicken, bean, cheese) $5
The young cashier asked us what we would like to order. Our first question was, “Can we still order off of the big board?”
She said, “Absolutely.”
We hesitantly looked at each other both wondering if this was a good idea. It was not that we had any problems with eating food prepared by Hispanics. We eat at Mexican restaurants at least once a week and our kids both love Mexican food. I like to think that you try to eat what is best at the particular restaurant you go to. You wouldn’t go to an Italian restaurant and want to order a hamburger. You wouldn’t go to a steak house and want to order a salad. I am not saying that either of these things has not been done before, but at the end of the day we were just confused. We were not sure if we were really at a place that specialized in Hibachi or Mexican fare.
We decided to go ahead and order. Since we had Hibachi food on our minds when we decided to go there we went ahead and ordered that. The cashier rung up our order and despite that our credit card receipt listed “Latino Taxi and Express” across the top we had made our choice. They cooked up our order and we took our takeout boxes and went home. Well, as it turns out, it was some of the best Hibachi food we have ever had.
The problem was that while we went into a Hibachi restaurant the sign and the staff made it feel like we were at a Mexican restaurant. When it comes to our Christian witness how do we come across? If we had a Christian sign on our door, what would someone find if they came in? Would they find you living your life the way you should? Would they be able to tell the difference between your house and any other? Would they find that the sign on the door didn’t match what they found on the inside?
I am in a men’s group that meets every couple of weeks called “Real.” My experience with the group has shown the name to be pretty representative of the meetings. One of the biggest things I have gained from being a part of this group has been seeing that this group struggles with the same things that I do. My biggest fear about being a part of a group that included some of the men in the church that I most respect was the fear that I wouldn’t belong. I thought I might not be worthy to be in this group. What I found was that, just like me, they are not perfect. They struggle to find time to have a quality Bible study, they struggle to spend quality time with their kids, they struggle to pray with their wife, and they fear they are not being the best husband and father that they can be. What might make them different from someone who is not a follower of Christ? I think it is that even though they struggle with these things, they seek to pursue righteousness. They understand that they are not perfect, but they seek to grow in Christ’s Word.
Evaluate your personal Christian witness today. Do those that come in contact with you notice a difference in you? Are you being careful to not confuse someone around you as to what really being a Christian is? When storms come your way do you react in a way that would make one wonder about your faith? Is the language you use representative of your commitment to Christ? Is your online social profile representative of your Christian walk? Understand that you are going to fail. You are going to sin. You will not be perfect. Let’s work to overcome and commit ourselves to growing in our faith. Let’s work to make sure that we are not confusing those we come in contact with. When one looks at your menu are they going to be looking at a Christian or a worldly person?