Is Your Life an Example of Christ to the World
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
As a Christian there should be something evident in our lives that makes us stand out, so to speak, to the world. You should be a light. People should be able to see something different about you; people should be able to tell we are Christian. We shouldn't blend in with everyone else. You need to ask yourself, what am I like to the world? How does the world see me?
There are characteristics that make us stand out as Christians and we are going to go over few of them.
One characteristic that should be evident in a Christian's life is preferring others. Romans the 12th chapter says, "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor." The world has the attitude of "I'm going to get mine." Well, this is totally opposed to what God says. God wants us to love others and give others preference.
Titus the 3rd chapter gives us some more characteristics that should be evident in our lives. It says this, "Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another." Now, not only do these verses give us contrast between Christian behavior and foolish behavior, but it also tells us to remember we also once were foolish ourselves. This should help us to never treat the people who may not be measuring up to these standards with contempt.
So we see it says we should be subject to rulers and authorities. That means your pastor, your bosses, the governing authorities such as the police. That means we can't have the attitude of "I don't have to listen to the police." God says you do. Or you know, "my pastor, who's he?" Well, he's your pastor...just watching out for your eternal life. You can choose plan B if you want but it probably won't be any fun.
Later on in this same chapter he says we are to be careful to engage in good deeds. That means don't engage in bad ones. I've had people call me on this. They'll see my example, no I'm not drinking. No, I'm not going to say those things. And they say, well, you guys are into "works". I say, no, I'm just into doing good deeds. It is profitable, right? And, I'm supposed to be a light.
People have been convinced that they don't have to do good deeds. That they're saved by grace and they can do whatever they want. Well, how will anybody be able to tell you apart from the rest of the world? Part of reaching people is to be changed. Doesn't the Bible say old things have become new? There should be a change.
I Peter the 4th chapter tells us to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you.
This gives us a clear picture that we can behave according to the will of God or we can behave like the Gentiles, the UN-saved, the world. It also tells us that it should be obvious to the world that we do something different than they do. They are surprised by it.
You will never know how many people have been or will be affected by your life and your example. So does your life make a difference? Yes. It makes a tremendous difference. You are going to affect people one way or another.