“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
As Christians, we often talk about living our lives in such a way that others see God’s light shining through us. It’s the idea that actions speak louder than words. While the bible obviously conveys this principle in verses such as Matthew 5:16, it’s always a blessing to see it in action. We get to see this principle at work when we look at someone and just see life radiating from them. It is not really about what they are doing or saying, but about how they are going about it. It’s always an amazing site when you see life sparked by a revelation of Christ’s love just pouring out of someone. It is impossible to miss.
Recently, I made a new friend that has really challenged me in this regard. He has challenged me in a very beneficial, life giving way and doesn’t even know it. At first, this guy sort of took me by surprise. I almost missed it. I mistook his energy and enthusiasm as an attempt to gain attention and notoriety from others. Quite frankly, that pushed me away at first. However, when I really took the time to observe, and watch his interaction with others, I realized that he was truly just radiating with the Holy Spirit. It is absolutely contageous when someone is going through life that way. This is especially noticable in people who have just given their life to Christ. You can just look in their eyes and see that there is something different, something supernatural going on. It attracts people like a magnet.
Now here is the challenging part. In the above paragraph I said, “I almost missed it.” That is a pretty scary statement. The transformational, revitalizing love of God was pouring out of someone right next to me and I almost didn’t recognize it. Why is that? It’s because the things of God were becoming common place and habitual in my life, and God used this man to fan the flame inside of me. God used this man to remind me that walking with Him is not about religious practice or doctrine, or even about filling up our schedule with minstry related activities. Walking with God is about the life changing power of love that pours out of us and onto others when we are walking closely with Him.
Unfortunately, we are all susceptible to this as human beings. We are creatures of habit. We can get so comfortable and set in our ways, and this includes our walk with God, that we resist anything that might disrupt the comfortable, familiar world we have created. This is exactly why the Pharisees and Saducees, who claimed to understand God better than anyone else in their day, didn’t even recognize the Son of God walking right in front of their faces. They were clinging too tightly to the familiarity of the traditions they had created.
The infamous Ferris Bueller said it very well, although he said it for very different reasons. In this excellent 1986 film, the main character sums of the movie with the line, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” True life only comes from the giver of life, and He is constantly beckoning us to embrace it. If we don’t stop and allow Him to interupt our habitual routines, we could miss His voice speaking life directly into our ears. Stop and look around today. Allow yourself to be motivated by His love.
The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. – John 6:63