What do they see?

 

“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt 5:16)

I spend a great amount of time talking to our kids about their example. I use scriptures such as Matt 5:16, or 1 Tim 4:12 reminding them to “be an example to the believers”, or from time to time I will reference how they should “let this mind be in [you] which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil 2:5). I remind them for several reasons. I am aware that we have the greatest young people on this side of the earth, but I am also aware that example is important. Our example can bring others closer to God, or can absolutely destroy all hopes we have of some attempting to follow in “the way”. I read this article this week on facebook, and I felt like there were some points which we could share. The article was not written by a member of the church, but it brings out some great points in how others view even us.

“I have a friend that’s not a Christian, but she is very curious about my faith, my beliefs, and Christianity. She didn’t grow up in any religion or church and knows very little about the bible. She often ask me questions about Christianity that are very simple, honest, and sometimes downright painful. Sometimes her questions are very childlike such as ‘Does it bother God when I curse?’ and ‘Why is it wrong for me to hate someone?’.. But it was her last question that she asked me that really set me back on my heels. She was totally serious when she asked…’why is it that Christians at my workplace can be dishonest, have an affair with someone, ask me to drink with them, and then invite me to church on Sunday morning?’ Something about that doesn’t seem to be right.’

“Honestly.. I was floored. Her simple, yet serious question was a slap in the face to the lifestyle of Christianity that Jesus taught and wants me to live. Her question was 100% serious, she wasn’t trying to bash what I believe OR rub my nose in professing Christian’s inconsistencies. She just didn’t understand it and wanted to know. None of it made sense to her.. and honestly.. none of it makes sense to me either.. I did my best to answer her, but it frustrated me knowing that all of my words won’t have NEAR the impact on her that her co workers actions will.”

I was genuinely amazed at this story, and this illustration of how easily we can influence others. People watch us, the bible is clear that those around us “observe” our good works (1 Pet 2:12). While I know the illustration given above is extreme, and I know each of you here and also know how unlikely this would ever be the case in this audience, we should all remember that people watch us and observe our actions. We are observed in our attendance, we are observed in our lack of attendance, and we are observed in our conduct. How wonderful it is to be part of this great congregation, who always guards their example, but lets never let our guard down.  

Ande Z