Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Graciousness”
Our Bible verse for today: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “I would rather convey grace than explain it.”
I personally think that in the public arena the Christian community today spends too much time declaring and debating “truth”, and not enough time graciously showing the love of Jesus. Not only do we vigorously and sometimes aggressively argue with the non-Christian world, but we also engage in cross-denominational squabbles within the Christian world regarding what we consider to be the best or most correct ways to practice the Christian faith. Often it all gets so ungracious in nature.
Let me be clear that we should contend for the truth. It’s imperative that know what we believe and why we believe it, and we should be prepared to boldly and confidently explain those beliefs to others. But people will be much more impacted by our actions than by our words. Showing love is always more effective than just talking about it.
Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5:16 about letting our light shine is often misunderstood and misapplied. Usually we equate it with speaking an evangelistic message. We’re to let our light shine by going out and telling people about Jesus. But those words were actually spoken by Him in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, which is much more about doing than speaking, and the sermon focuses heavily on having a kind, gentle, and humble manner. If you read the verse again you will see that Jesus is urging us to shine for Him by what we do rather than by what we say.
I’ve been a Christian for almost three decades now. I’ve been in ministry in some capacity for more than twenty-five years. Over those years I’ve known and encountered many thousands of Christians, here in the USA and around the world. I’ve known many Christians who had strong words that they felt compelled to declare and debate at every opportunity, so much so that I’d often find myself wondering how we could get them to shut-up. I’ve also known many who simply shined with the love of Jesus in a quiet and gracious way.
Personally, even as a Christian, I would rather be around the quiet gracious ones rather than those who constantly declare, debate, and argue. If that’s true of me, a Christian, how much more must it be true for those who don’t yet know Jesus?
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus called for us to be gracious people who impact the world by shining with His love and grace. As Philip Yancey wrote, “I would rather convey grace than explain it.” I think that’s what Jesus meant too. Let your light shine – by what you do.