In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
The fact that Jesus spent so much of his time with known sinners and people otherwise forgotten by the Jewish religious community brings about questions as to how we are to live as His followers.
On the one hand, we are called to be set apart…to be in the world, but not of the world. To strive to live an obedient life and avoid sin and temptation. But on the other hand, we are to go out into all the world and tell people about Jesus.
On the one hand, we do try to avoid putting ourselves in tempting situations where we know there is sinful activity or behavior. But on the other hand, we want to reach people and tell them of another way of living that brings life instead of death.
We are all sinners, no doubt. But some of us recognize it and want to change, while others are content living in it. The world is full of people who don’t see or appreciate a better way of living.
So how do we know what we are to do? One rule of thumb is to look at who would be the influencer and who would be influenced. Jesus could always enter into people’s lives and environments steeped in sin and know that He would never be influenced. He was always the influencer.
If we have a choice to enter a situation or relationship where we are more likely to have sin rubbing off on us than our love of Jesus rubbing off on those we are with, we should reconsider entering into it. Going to a party to get away from “church people” or to “have a little fun without judgment or accountability” is quite different than going to be kind and show another way of living and behaving so others will see and wonder what makes us different.
Questions: Are you more likely to be influenced or an influencer? Are there situations you know you should avoid because of weaknesses in your life?