Give Me A Reason

My wife and I often find ourselves in different rooms in the house during the day. She’s kind of a neat freak and baker, and I’m more of a computer-book nerd. When we get in our individual modes, she’s usually off in the kitchen and I’m in my home office. My office doesn’t have a traditional door, just a couple of curtains hung in the open thruway. So when she has the radio on up in the kitchen, I get bits and pieces of what she’s listening to while I’m trying to do my own thing.

She was recently listening to a radio program, and the speaker mentioned how when he had honest questions about God and Christianity, those around him who were Christians failed to fulfill a task we should all be ready for.

In Matthew 5, Jesus told us that we are salt and light to a world that is lost.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

But Jesus never tells us what we’re supposed to do when our salt makes a difference in the meat, or when our light has penetrated the darkness. What follows when fallen man sees and gives glory to God in Heaven?

Too often we clam up and try to deflect attention from ourselves. We’re not pointing to God, mind you, we are just pointing any which way but at ourselves. “Did I hear the boss calling me?” Why are we afraid to take the window of opportunity that God has given us? We need to be reminded what Peter taught us:

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15, NIV).

It has to betray the pride and selfishness that looms inside of us when we aren’t willing to give a few minutes to a soul that is wondering about what makes our lives different.

We should be praising God that He has made such an impact on our lives that the very way we work, speak, and live, is evidence of His love and grace to those around us. Few would prefer to stand on a soapbox on a street corner, bullhorn in hand, telling people that God has the power to impact their lives. Lifestyle evangelism is real and powerful, but we often fail to deliver the full message.

The words of this program speaker to his coworkers, those who were ready to welcome him as a brother in Christ, was that his blood was on their hands, for not being prepared, for not giving an answer for the hope that they had. They were silent. They dodged the bullet every time it came their way. What must that do to a seeking soul, having seen a glimpse of the light, only to have it hid under a basket?

We used to talk a lot more about divine appointments, those situations when we believed our encounters were orchestrated by God for His work and purposes. A fancier word for it was Providence. We yearn for the miraculous in so many ways that we fail to see the work of a heavenly Schemer that drives paths to a point of convergence that has the potential to impact all involved for the rest of their lives.

We are salt and light. Paul wrote, “Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you” (2 Corinthians 3:2, MSG). Let us pray for boldness to finish the story when someone starts to read.