“In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Our actions should point people to God. Just as the Word is a light unto our feet, our lives are a light as the only gospel some people may be open to reading. Our lights shine, even when we aren’t considering our actions. The devotion I read today asked “If you never said another word, would people know that you are a follower of Christ?” While my answer is “I think so”, I am challenging myself today. I want to watch my actions and see, am I a light? Or has my light went out or dimmed due to the busyness that I allow to consume me.
Motive matters also. This Scripture points out that people will praise God for what they see us do; which means, people will see what you do. The next chapter however, cautions us to not let our actions be done for men to praise us.
““Make certain you do not perform your religious duties in public so that people will see what you do. If you do these things publicly, you will not have any reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give something to a needy person, do not make a big show of it, as the hypocrites do in the houses of worship and on the streets. They do it so that people will praise them. I assure you, they have already been paid in full. But when you help a needy person, do it in such a way that even your closest friend will not know about it. Then it will be a private matter. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you.” Matthew 6:1-4
We have to guard our heart as to the motive of letting others see our actions. I don’t need to tell people everything or even anything I do for others. I don’t need to tell anyone. I might invite someone into service with me, but it is about those I am serving not my act of service. And we should invite others into serving. Plugging people in gives them purpose in the kingdom. It lets their light shine; serving fills people up because it feels good to do something for someone else.
So let your light shine; not for men, but it is okay for it to be seen by men. Make sure that the good things you are doing are bringing glory to God, not to yourself. We should be intentionally pointing others to Christ through our word and more importantly our actions.