RELIGIOUS COLUMN: Let your light shine before the others | Columnists

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Our society has become a dark place. As the unbelieving world becomes increasingly hostile to true Christianity, we must bring Christlike enlightenment to a world spiraling down into the eternal pit of darkness. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matt. 5:14-16) Where does our light shine?

In Titus, chapter 2, Paul articulates to Titus on the island of Crete what could be considered a SOP for living the Christian life. We find three guidelines from Paul emphasizing the importance of Christian witness to be borne before the unbelieving community. In verse 5 he says, “The word of God cannot be insulted. In verse 8, Paul reasons, “so that an adversary may be ashamed, having nothing bad to say about us”. Paul continues the exhortation of verse 10 by saying, “that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour.” Paul was obviously concerned about their testimony and how some were bringing shame in the name of Christ. In Romans, Paul tells the Jews, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you. (2:24). We can only assume that there were similar problems within the Cretan congregation.

If Paul wrote to the church today, what would he say? Would he say that the Word of God is vilified by our testimony of life and that we contribute to the ridicule of the church? Let’s look at Paul’s advice to Titus for our answers on how we strengthen our testimonies and give glory to God through our daily lives. The examples Paul gave 1,950 years ago of how followers of Christ are timeless and apply to us today.

In (1:16) we see the age-old saying, “Actions speak louder than words.” Our testimony is nullified if our actions contradict what we profess. Jesus said, “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit, for every tree is known by its own fruit. (Luke 6:43-44). It is sometimes difficult, but each day we must dedicate ourselves to the service of the kingdom of God. God will honor our commitment and provide opportunities for our light to shine for His glory. What joy, as we experience the reality that “for the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men.” (v.11) “Who gave himself up for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people zealous for good works.

Paul’s message for us today is that our faith should be seen by the good works we do. Not just living as the redeemed awaiting the return of Christ, having no inert impact on the world around us. We can develop a renewed godly outlook, “eager to do good works” (2:14) and to serve. As believers, let us focus on living every aspect of our lives in an exemplary manner for the glory of God and let our light shine to draw unbelievers to the gospel of Christ.

Eddie Turner holds a Masters in Christian Ministry and a Bachelor of Science in Religion/Christian Counseling.

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