We live in a country that believes in the old saying, “he who dies with the most toys, wins.” So many people live their lives this way. But as Christians, we are called to live our lives differently. That saying goes against so much of what we, as Christians, are taught and believe. We are taught generosity instead of greediness. We are taught the importance of helping others not just helping ourselves. In Luke we find one example of such instructions.
Luke 3:11 “John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.”
Yet, so often we all fall short of this responsibility. We think to ourselves, so what if I am not generous this time. No one will see that I did not give. I am not hurting anyone by not being generous.
As we live out our Christian walk in today’s world, many people around us are watching our actions. They watch us to see if we are genuine. They watch to see if we walk the talk. Let me tell you a story from one of our mission trips that really brought this home to me.
We were in Salta, Argentina on a construction project. Every morning after breakfast, our taxis would arrive to take us to the work site. The taxi arrived at 7 AM each day and we loaded up. Most mornings we did not talk much because we were tired from the work we did the day before. We would sit quietly in the taxi during the 45 minute ride. We followed this routine for the whole week. Finally on our last work day, one of our taxi drivers pulled us aside to speak with us. He asked us some questions about why we visited his country and then he said, “You have traveled thousands of miles to help the poorest of poor. We who live here would never even think to speak to those people much less help them. We consider them outcasts. But I see you with such joy in helping them. I do not know what you have in your lives but I need to learn more about it so I can have it too.”
We were amazed by this event and quickly directed him to talk to the local missionary we were working with on the project. They talked together for a while and then sometime after we left the area, the taxi driver started attending church. We evangelized to the drive but yet never spoke a word. Our lives were our witness on this trip.
How does your life speak to those around you? Who is watching you today to see your reaction to a problem in your life? Are you showing Christ to others? Many times we think that evangelism is standing on a soap box on the street corner proclaiming Christ but I have learned that the way I live my life can also be evangelism to those around me who are watching me. I need to remember to let my life proclaim Christ even if I never say a word.
1 Peter 2:12 “Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.”