HERE’S LOOKIN’ AT YOU Andy Hollifield 11-4-19
Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
That makes no sense? In social circles, it is a toast made to friends or drinking buddies before drinking which practically means nothing except the person toasting is pleased with someone’s presence. It’s really just a famous quote from the 1942 Humphrey Bogart movie “Casablanca.” It’s also said to be Bogie’s unique way of flirting.
For Christians, it can be a warning or an encouragement. A warning because it should remind us that someone is always watching our life and how we conduct ourselves. We can turn them to the Lord or turn them away simply by how we interact with others. One mistake, one word spoken in a moment of anger or frustration, one word expressing disgust with something, a lack of interest in something important to the person watching, and the result is always the same. It results in a total loss of confidence that can likely never be restored to the point that it once was. And what makes it even worse is that we may never know that confidence has been shattered.
Paul said the following to Titus which is still sound advice for everyone in any generation:
Titus 2:7&8 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, (8) Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
He goes on in verse 14 that we should be “a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Throughout Paul’s writings, he advises young preachers they should always live in a way that people can follow us as a good example of how to live. I like Paul’s use of the word “pattern” in Titus 2:7. For a pattern to produce a successful result, it implies that whatever is being done, from wood-working to mechanics or even cooking, it needs to be done pretty much the same way every time. We should live our lives in a way that what people see in our lives shouldn’t be an occasional occurrence but a pattern or how we live all the time.
That all sounds like a lot of heavy-duty responsibility for us as Christians and it is. We have a lost world without God looking at our lives every day waiting for us to mess up so they can use our mistake as a justification for the things they do regularly. To be honest; they are looking for an opportunity to pass judgment on us.
The encouraging part is because it should remind us that someone is always watching our life and how we conduct ourselves. The very same thing that makes it a warning also makes it an encouragement. Sometimes as God’s children, we may feel that what we do doesn’t make a difference. That isn’t the case at all. If we are living the way we should, we should be able to be like Paul and others should be able to follow us because our lives are a good representation of the Lord and his grace. Although it may be a heavy load to bear at times, we should be thankful that we are living in a way that anyone would be interested in looking at our life. Paul told the brethren and followers in Philippians 3:17 “…Ye have us for an ensample.” In 1 Timothy 4:12 Paul said:
“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
In Acts 11:26 the bible tells us that “the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” It was said in ridicule but worn as a badge of honor because they were living and acting just like Jesus.
You can think of all of this another way too. What if your life didn’t impress anyone enough to where they would want to be like you? We realize our kids and grandkids may follow in our footsteps but there are also folks we have no idea are paying any attention to us at all that are watching our every move. Some are not so much waiting for us to fail but are watching to see how we trust God in bad times as well as good. It’s easy to talk it when you’re tip-toeing through the tulips but it’s a lot harder when life’s circumstances have us fighting through the briar patch. They want to see if we believe enough to trust God then.
Some of those same people that are watching would like to see you not falter. They want to see something real. You are likely to be the one they come to when the Lord begins to deal with their hearts or when trouble invades their lives. You may be the one person they know that they have any confidence in. That is an awesome responsibility but we serve an awesome God. Aren’t you thankful that you look and act enough like him for folks to want to watch your life? Here’s looking at you! Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!