I remember listening to an older DC Talk song (still a big fan by the way - AWESOME!) called "What If I Stumble?". At the beginning of the song is an audio clip of a quote given by author and pastor Brennan Manning. The quote goes something like this:
"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians. Who acknowledge Him with their lips, and walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simple finds unbelievable."- Brennan Manning
This quote has always challenged me. But it seems the crux of the issue hasn't really been revealed to me until just the past few months or so. Over and over and over in scripture this warning has been given to the church. Whether you read the command of Paul to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:13, about setting an example to believers through every aspect of our lives or you look at countless other references in scripture that urge us as believers to live out what we believe.
So what do we reflect? James 1:22-23 says, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what is says. Anyone who listens to the word, but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror". If people were to look at you, who do you reflect to them? Do you reflect someone who is living out loud the belief that is in their heart or do you reflect someone who says one thing but lives in a different way? What do you reflect?
I believe the world is looking for something authentic and for something that is different from what they experience in their everyday secular lives. It's not enough anymore for us to merely listen to the word, we have to live out what we read and believe. So let us shine our light.
I leave you with this quote:
"If you're saved and you know it, then your actions ought to show it!" - Pastor Bill McKee