How Do They Know Us?

Mostly, I’m not smart enough to see what God’s doing in my life. I know He’s telling a story, but often I muddle along in what seems like a disconnected jumble of experiences.

It’s only in retrospect that I see what He’s been doing.

Lately, my blog posts have felt like that to me (and likely to you). I’ve thought about influence, preachers & politics, God’s publishing, and get-to. Over at Rich’s Ride I’ve been talking about Mission: Demonstrate.

Honestly, I didn’t see much of a theme, and I felt a bit like the clanging cymbal from 1 Corinthians 13:1–minus the “tongues of angels.”

This week our small group read Mark 9:42-50. It’s about, among other things, the importance of leading and guiding by example. And my lovely wife said something simple and profound

“Isn’t our accountability about pointing people to God? Shouldn’t we always ask if an action or word points others toward Jesus or away from Him?”

She’s right, as usual, and I see now what God’s been telling me. My primary question ought to be, “How do I shine my light on Jesus?” That’s what influence is all about, and the answer’s at the end of the passage: “…be at peace with each other.”

Jesus doesn’t tell us to use religious principles to win the argument. In fact, He tells us not to argue. Being right and winning aren’t His ways. He says the way to be salt in the world is to live in peace.

Too often, Christians are identified by judgment and divisive dogma. Religion is frequently about declaring who’s right and who’s wrong. As Don Miller says, “Satan uses scripture, too.” He uses it to divide and condemn and win through coercion and intimidation. The enemy celebrates those tactics, because they shine the light on a collection of ideas instead of on the person of Jesus.

Fortunately, Jesus wasn’t religious. In fact, He reserved His confrontation for the religious leaders who valued “being right” so highly. His central message was that you and I, and those with whom we disagree, don’t need to be right to be loved by God.

It’s my job to love others so I can shine my light on that truth. I mess it up—a lot. I want to do better.

Wouldn’t it be cool if people looked at Jesus’ followers and their first thought was, “Wow! Those folks sure love a lot.”

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1

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Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site

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