Have you ever thought seriously about Jesus’ statement: “Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father” (Matt. 5:16)? It is common for Christians to blame the secular world, the media, government, politics, etc. for the decline of faith and Godly values in our world. But if we take Jesus’ statement seriously, then we understand that God’s reputation is at stake in us! We are the reason people glorify God or not.
The problem, however, is that many of us have a tendency of viewing our “spiritual life” as separate and distinct from other areas of our life. Consequently, our faith does not always inform and permeate every aspect of our daily living. What did Jesus say would draw people to praise and glorify God? It’s when our faith is lived out and our good deeds are on display for all to see. It’s how we choose to live in the common and mundane moments of our lives that shines a light in the darkness directing people to the Lord.
The prophet Amos condemned the kingdom of Israel: “They sell honorable people for silver and poor people for a pair of sandals. They trample helpless people in the dust and shove the oppressed out of the way” (Amos 2:6-7). The prophet goes on to condemn their religious practices too, but he specifically points out behaviors reflecting their disregard for their fellow human beings, especially the poor and oppressed among them. In other words, their mistreatment of others in the course of everyday life and business is what defamed the name of God.
Is it possible that one of the main reasons people in our world today often ignore God and deny His existence is because of how His people represent Him? Without question, how we practice our faith in the home and at church is vitally important, but God’s reputation is far more at stake in how we choose to live all of life and particularly how we choose to treat other people. Do our lives and how we treat others reflect the love and goodness of our God? Do our words and actions compel and inspire people to praise and glorify Him?
Father, help me to live my life in such a way that, in everything I say and do, I bring honor and glory to Your great name. Amen.