“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16 [NASB]
There are so many people who are not saved. Christians received the “Great Commission” to spread the Gospel. It’s not something to take lightly. And yet, how many actually treat the responsibility as a true responsibility? It seems some get their “I am saved card,” store it in their wallet, and keep on keeping on. I find it’s important to remember that if someone didn’t invest the time to speak to you about the Gospel, you wouldn’t be saved. Is it not proper to invest some time to do the same? Is it not requested of us?
Most certainly, there is another angle to look at when discussing the spread of the Message. Some people simply look at the actually time period when a person is providing testimony to a non-believer; however, sharing the Gospel is a lot more than using your voice alone. You need to live the Message. People see your actions. Your actions share Christ or share something so un-Christ-like, that causes people to stereotype Christians and turn far from God.
This past week, I entered a convenience store to purchase some gasoline. As I stood in the line to make my purchase, one person stood before me. The cashier asked if the gentleman wished to purchase a candy bar for the local Y.M.C.A. Without hesitation, the man responded, “What do they do for me”?!? The cashier replied, “Well the organization keeps the kids off the street.” The man then said, “So, that has nothing to do with me,” and he left the store.
That man was a high school teacher. He’s a man who was entrusted to teach children. When he was hired to teach children, he thereby became a representative of the school district. Sadly, he didn’t see the importance in keeping the children he taught off the street. Simply put, his job was a matter of putting in the time and going home. As a representative of the school district, he surely causes one to question the school itself. His uncaring actions also may result in people believing he has a lack of compassion. In the same way as this teacher misrepresented the school district, we can misrepresent Christ.
People who know we are Christians and see us judging or acting inappropriately, may possibly see a Christ they don’t want any part of simply because of our actions. We may not even realize that we are causing people to turn away from Christ. People may see us get all dressed up for Sunday and have our moment of “religion,” and then go back to a life of anything not including Christ for the rest of the week. God isn’t a jack-in-the-box that we just wind up on Sunday for Him to pop into our lives for a day. If we expect to show people Christ, I think it’s important to let our light shine– because our light comes from the Holy Spirit. As we share our light, the light gets brighter.
Don’t be discouraged to share your testimony. Do walk in caution when trying to share Christ. Remember if you wish to share the Message, you should allow the Holy Spirit to direct you. Also, don’t forget if you are a Christian, that when you share the Message, it’s important to live the Message. How sad it is when we push a lost sheep further out to pasture, because it is much harder to get that sheep back. I like to steer clear of judgment, and always let a person know that I am a work in progress. If we humble ourselves and admit our faults, we don’t show the non-believer that we perceive ourselves to be perfect. If we say anything other than God is perfect, we leave open the possibility for future problems to arise. Shine your light– share your life.
“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” – 1 Peter 2:12 [NIV]