After a long break, we’re back to the Jesus series. I can’t begin to tell you how much I love that man, the one who left heaven for my sake and yours. Life on earth can be hard, sometimes I wonder why I came into this world although I know it wasn’t my decision in the first place.
Yet he chose to come to this world for me, to come at a time when there were no cars or aeroplanes, no fans or air-conditioning sets or internet and yes; no electricity. He had a choice and he chose to come for me! There are many people who do not believe in Jesus, many who think he was just a fairy-tale, a figment of the imagination, an oppression tool by colonial masters, the list is endless.
And that brings me to the thrust of this post- Matt 5:16.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”
The preceding verses talk about being the salt and light of the earth, about how valuable the followers of Christ are to a perishing world and how we are to display that value. How do we display that value? Our good deeds.
But the world is rejecting the gospel with an intensity that seems unprecedented, many people are giving up on Christianity due to many factors. I cannot find it in my heart to blame them, sometimes I want to throw in the towel too. From pastors twisting scripture for their nefarious ends to the refusal of many Christians to read the scripture for themselves, preferring to parrot “my pastor said’ instead of getting the word for themselves and the utter lack of empathy or sympathy that some Christians wear like a badge.
How do we respond to this? To regain the lost sheep and those who have never been in the fold. We like to think that it is rhetoric that wins the day, that the long words touch the heart. So we talk and talk and preach every second, even at ungodly hours. We posture with big words and logic, we look for arguments day and night. I have a number of irreligious friends on social media and it is tiring how majority of their posts turn out to be a free for all fight, for and against God. I find it amusing to find Christians yakking and trying to be intellectual about their faith, the gospel isn’t logical and it is a waste of time to pretend otherwise. Besides many of these people were former Christians, they know the facts in the bible better than most of us and you just have to respect the logic in their analyses. The devil likes bright minds I tell ya.
However the best way to pass our message is by our lives, you can talk at a thousand words per minute but if your life does not reflect your message or rhyme with it, the inconsistencies will shine through pretty quickly. The reason Jesus was so successful in his ministry was because his words matched his actions, he preached love and he loved people, he preached forgiveness and he forgave even on the cross when he was under excruciating pain. The bible says he went about doing good, he didn’t just give spiritual food and water but he cared for the physical bodies by healing the sick, comforting those who were hurt and sorrowful.
The power of our actions is best seen here 1Peter 3:1
“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behaviour of their wives,”
You can win a person over with your conduct even without saying anything, without the grammar. It could be anyone- from colleagues at work to family to friends to people who you buy your staples from. You can talk about the love of Christ for 24hours straight but they do not see that love at work in you, your words ring hollow. You can talk about the liberty that being in Christ gives you but if you are still tied to dogma and manmade traditions, who’d take you seriously? Or how we’re more interested in tithes and offerings than helping the needy.
The only bible some people may ever read is your life and my life, how do we represent Jesus in our daily lives? Are we “do as I say but not as I do” kind of people? Are we living the same kind of live the Pharisees lived? Concentrating more on the show than the substance of our faith, more concerned with laws and doctrines than the people who need our help whether they belong to our denomination/congregation or not.
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
The quotation above is commonly attributed to Mahatma Gandhi and I think it is the worst thing that can ever be said of any Christian. May that never describe me, Amen.
PS: Today’s the birthday of my beloved friend, Hero. May your light continue to shine bright my darling, may the kindness and love that radiates from you never dim, may your family flourish and may you have twins and triplets, may your blessings always come on time and in abundance and may the desires of your heart always be met in Jesus name.