It is said, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” One way we’re supposed to influence the world toward godliness is by presenting a good, consistent image of Christianity through the way we live our individual lives as Christians. Our consistent, faithful lifestyle can make quite an impression on the lives of some people around us. Our example of faithful, dedicated Christianity can impact their lives for good. Somebody is always watching us, whether we realize it or not. It could be that what they see in us could influence them toward Christ and, ultimately, to salvation.
We are to be shining lights and seasoning salt in a world groping around for direction in the midst of sin’s darkness ( Matt. 5:13-16 ). We are to be a straightening influence in a world gone crooked through evil and wickedness ( Phlp. 2:15-16 ). People ought to be able to see a better direction, a better way reflected in our lives.
As the church, we also need to be keenly aware of our responsibility to be a positive reflection of the virtues and characteristics of Christianity. But we should not see this as just a responsibility. We should also see it as an opportunity.
A point of truth that has been heralded through the halls of the marketing world for many years is, “The best advertising is ‘word of mouth’ advertising.” The most skillfully conceived marketing campaign can be negated by consumers who have already bought and used the product and have subsequently been dissatisfied with it. As they tell friends, neighbors, people they work with and others about their unhappiness with the product, sales go down. At the same time, nothing consistently drives sales like people who are excited about a product they have used.
Here at Sunny Slope, we need to stay focused on being a good, consistent, positive influence on those with whom we come into contact. Many people visit with us on a regular basis. When they come in the doors of our building, they need to see the Lord’s church! They need to be greeted by people reflecting the love of Christ. They need to hear the truth of God’s word being clearly taught and upheld. They need to receive the best possible impression of who we are. Whether they do, or not, is dependant largely upon us individually. Will we go out of our way to present the right image?
We also need to be a strong, positive influence among the other congregations in the area. Without being haughty or self-righteous, they need to see in us uprightness, strength, stability and direction. By being a consistent example, we can have an influence over time. In so doing, we will bring glory to God…
Gary L. Hutchens