“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NIV)
On the 4th August 2007 I had the joy of officiating at the wedding ceremony of Christie and Josiah Warren. From my perspective, having worked with numerous couples in preparation for their wedding, Christie was the most sparkling of brides and Josiah the most dapper of grooms. They really put on the shine. Now you may wonder why I rank this couple over all the other wonderful couples whose weddings I’ve officiated at. Don’t I run the risk of getting the others a little cheesed off because I didn’t award them first place? Or worse, fierce competition for second place may begin . . . Not likely. I’m the father of the bride!
The week before Christie and Josiah’s wedding my brother and niece arrived from South Africa. My brother is a businessman. During the drive home from the airport he told me how one of his employees had recently defrauded his company of tens of thousand of dollars. When confronted with her crime she confessed her guilt and pleaded for charges not to be laid. And then the zinger – my brother, who is not a Christian, told me that this lady attends church and a mid week Bible study group. I was gob-smacked! Honestly, I felt like I’d been kicked in the groin. Why, because when these kinds of things happen, the name of Jesus is tarnished.
Two stories: One of a young Christian couple who sparkle because of the inner reality of an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ and another of a Christian woman who has tarnished the name of Christ.
Christians need to be putting on the shine for Jesus. While putting on a shine is seen as an outward thing, it is first and foremost an inward thing. We have to cultivate the right attitude. If we are to shine for Jesus we must “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe . . .” Philippians 2:14-15.
“Blameless and pure” . . . that’s getting down to brass tacks. But how can we be blameless and pure? Through repentance and confession. To put on the shine for Jesus we need humble and penitent hearts.