Bob was talking about “changed lives” today, and how that change gives us confidence. Don’t quite remember the train of thought, but he made a connection to the oft-stated (maybe hypothetical?) excuse, “I don’t have to share the gospel with words because my life is a witness…”
It reminded me of what I am reading in Matthew 6 right now, that our “religious” behaviors are not to be performed for men to see, but for God in secret. Yes, there is an aspect of living that will be noticed, that is inherently visible. If you are a believer, there are other believers testing you by sight; they want to see if you are a good example to follow as they try to emulate Christ (Ah, that’s the connection where Bob was coming from…). Just because we are examples, does not mean that we are ostentatious. It can allow us to be challenged to hold faithfully to what we say we believe (as Paul does in 1 Thessalonians).
I would then reason from there that since I am not purposefully performing acts of righteousness to be seen, I should not assume that they are seen, or that people would read between the lines and say “Oh, he’s a Christian. Did you see the way he petted that dog? And I’ve never seen him kick his kid.”
We must, therefore, be actively sharing the Good News about Jesus Christ. Vocally. In 1 Thessalonians 1:8, Paul praises his readers because they have, “sounded the word of the Lord…” We cannot assume that our “life is a witness”, excusing us from vocal sharing of the faith. In all reality, we are just avoiding the real test. If our faith is real and transformational, not just pretentious posturing, won’t be be seeking out opportunities to tell what our God has done and is doing?