BE THE LIGHT THAT YOU ARE

MATTHEW 5:14 You are the light of the world. Like a city on a hill top that cannot be hidden.

Because we are Christians everyone pays close attention to our actions. Especially none believers that know that we bare the Christian name. They are either looking for something different in us that will prove what we claim is true or they are looking to disprove what we claim and prove that we are just hypocrites. People are looking for something to believe in. Something to have hope for. What could be better to believe in and to have hope for other than the good news that we claim, right. But do our actions show that? Do our actions show forgiveness, joy, peace, unity, love, or compassion?

The best way that I know that to explain what I mean is to give an example of my own experience when I was younger and before I had better knowledge about Jesus. I went to church when I was small and was told that Jesus loved me and that we were to be like Jesus if we were Christians. We were suppose to be kind and loving to others. We were to forgive those that did wrong to us. Because we were Christians we were suppose to act in the way that Jesus would act. But that was not the case. And it was not long before I started to question the whole Christian thing and ended up having a sour taste for those that claimed to be Christians. It was by those that were suppose to be kind and loving that I was judged and criticized by. The people that I thought would love and accept me unconditionally are the ones that hurt me the most and turned their back on me. It made me turn from my faith at a very early age. I never stopped believing in Jesus but I did stop believing in the body of Christ which did affect my relationship with God.

Every time I would be around someone that I knew claimed the Christian faith a part of me was waiting and wanting to see the unconditional love and acceptance that I was taught in sunday school. I wanted to see proof that there was peace, love, and joy in the life of a Christian. But there was the other part of me that was waiting for the judgement, the backstabbing, and the lies that I had experienced from so many Christians when I was younger. Even though I had that bad experience with my church members I still was seeking to see proof that what I had been taught in church was true. I wanted to believe and have hope in Christianity. But as I encountered more and more “fake Christians” the more that I formed the mindset of “see that is why I don’t believe in Christianity, because they are all backstabbing hypocrites.” And because I was looking to Christians to teach and show me Jesus and how to live for Jesus it made me not want anything to do with Christianity.

It was not until I met a couple of Christians while I was recovering in the nursing home that my view of Christianity was changed. For the first time I seen genuine unconditional love and acceptance from a Christian. I seen kindness, compassion, gentleness, and nonjudgement. I seen the light. As I visited and talked with these Christians I began to gain knowledge about the good news and the life that is available to us through Jesus. I gained a proper perspective about what it means to be a Christian and not just following a religion. And because I was able to see parts of Jesus’ character through them I was able to begin to repair my relationship with Him.

I am not saying that our relationship with God depends on how others treat us or how they act but I do believe it does have an influence. If you know nothing about the truth of the word or if you are looking for tangible proof of what you do know about the word to be true then you will look to Christians to be that example and that proof. So we need to be the light that the bible says that we are. We need to be the proof that life with Jesus is good. We need to give the love and acceptance that we receive from Jesus. We need to be the good that is in this evil world so that our goodness will spread and our light will shine threw the darkness. It could be the actions that you show towards others that cause them to have a home in heaven too. Or your actions could be the reason that they end up not having a eternal home. Lets be the light that we are suppose to be and show proof of the name that we claim.