You may be the only Bible
Whether you like it or not, people are watching you. I don’t know why, but people are sitting with their magnifying glasses just looking for that place where you stepped outside the line of the playing field. Then it’s broadcast to all and sundry.
I’m with a friend in his office. His business has taken a few decisions and some people don’t like them. His phone is ringing off the hook. One of the Sunday papers wants his comments, because yes, the article has been written already and will appear in the paper on Sunday.
Sometimes you feel like giving up, because although you try your best to keep inside the lines, before you know it you’re left holding the baby.
That is why Paul gives us this good advice: 5Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don’t miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity.
I suspect the key word here would be ‘sensitivity’. We must be sensitive about the things we do. We must ensure that nobody can point a finger at us. Whatever you do, you must do it in a way so that it does not damage Christ’s image. We must do things in such a way that others want to do it too. Our actions shouldn’t push people away from God, but rather pull them closer.
Every day we come into contact with people who do not know God. Where will they see God? they won’t just walk into any church and ask to meet Jesus. No, you may be the only one in whom they can see God. In whom they can see Jesus working.
And when things are hard, when you face a crisis, when your blood starts boiling, when injustice is done – that is when others take out their magnifying glasses and wait for you to step outside the lines s that they can say: Aha! Gotcha! You say you’re a Christian, but just look at what you’ve done!”
This instruction is for all of us: We must show others what looks like God. As Francis of Assisi said: Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.
You may be the only Bible that the people around you may ever read.
And in a way we’re being encouraged to carry out the instruction: Make the most of every opportunity. The King James version puts it like this: Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Don’t wait for the next season. Don’t delay. No, do it now, tomorrow may be too late.
You may be the only Bible that people around you may ever read.
This is serious.
Don’t wait for a next season. Don’t delay. No, do it now, because tomorrow may be too late. You may be the only Bible that the people around you may ever read.
For whom are you a Bible?
Do they see God everywhere?
How can you have a greater impact?
Father, this is a major instruction. Please help to make the best use of every opportunity that You give me to proclaim and praise your Name. Amen.