The FCC requires that every television and radio station identify itself hourly with its call letters and city. The idea is that there are so many signals coming over the airwaves in America, that the listener should be able to identify the source of the broadcast. Often the stations will add a tag to that identification, so you know what to expect. “The Party” is going to serve different music than “The Valley’s Best Country.” We probably wouldn’t expect any music on “The Fan” or “All News and Talk.”
Acts 11:26 tells us, “And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” Christians. Christ-like. At Antioch. After that, the culture had an expectation when they heard that identification. Christians. In Rome. In Corinth. In Philippi. In Ephesus.
They expected commitment, passion, generosity, hospitality.
I’m not sure that expectation still holds. Think for a moment of the words most often used to describe Christians these days. Usually, it’s intolerant. Self-righteous. Fake.
Perhaps that’s because the way we identify ourselves has changed. It makes us uncomfortable to suggest that we’re as depraved as everyone else, that it’s only the amazing work of the Holy Spirit bringing us new life that separates us. And that was a gift.
How would the perception of Christianity change, how would we change if humble … serving … compassionate became our identifiers?
Where do our thoughts, actions and motives originate?
How are we best known?
What if we took a few moments throughout the day to consider our own “station identification”?