Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright stars in a world full of crooked and perverse people. (Philippians 2:14-15)
Those who follow Jesus are supposed to be different.
The word holy means different; it means “set apart from everything else for a special purpose.” But holy shouldn’t be a repelling different, but a winsome, appealing, attractive different. Instead, our holy lives should shine like bright stars.
When we first had kids, people began to talk to Betsy and me about where our kids would go to school, and their first assumption was that we would send them to a “Christian” school. But we felt differently about this. We have been called by Jesus to let our light shine before men that they may see our good deeds and praise our Father in heaven. So our desire is that our kids may let their light shine in their public schools.
While I am grateful for the A’s and B’s on all of their third-quarter report cards, there are other statements on my kids’ report cards that make me even prouder—
- “You are a pleasure to have in class.”
- “I am so blessed to have him in class.”
- “You have proven yourself to be a responsible, respectful, and hard working student.”
- “She does a fantastic job of helping out other students in class.”
- “He is extremely respectful towards others and a pleasure to have in class!”
- “He is always willing to lend a helping hand to others if needed.”
- “You are a joy to be around, and I look forward to your smile every morning!”
These comments reflect lifestyles that are different—a winsome, appealing, attractive different.
This light shining out from our kids has opened the door for us to share our faith in Jesus with both teachers and students. In fact, my daughter has been able to lead one of her classmates to faith in Christ, and she and her family are now attending our church!
My kids challenge me to do everything in a way that shines. I want to be different … I want to shine … I want to live in a way that attracts others to Jesus Christ. What about you?