“Witness … and where necessary use words.” It was one of the most over used, cliched and patently false little sayings doing the rounds when I was at uni. I think people also tried, without factual evidence to attribute it to St Francis of Assisi.
The point is that you always, always need to use words to witness. If I simply live a good live, showing compassion and mercy, then people will at best think that I am a standout person and think highly of me. They may well not even see anything unusual about it as they also volunteer at the foodbank or join in the candlelit walk for refugees. What they are not going to see is that my life is meant to be pointing to Jesus unless I tell them.
I hide my light under a bucket when I fail to share the reason for the hope I have. I don’t just mean a few warm words about faith and prayer. No, I hide my light if I do not at some point and in some way talk about Jesus and his death and resurrection. I allow my light to shine when I share my testimony, invite them to church, tell them why Jesus died for them or give them a gospel to read.
However, as we saw in yesterday’s article, we are always visible and people are looking to us to see how we live. So, if I am talking about Jesus and salvation then my actions are a witness because people want to know if my life aligns with what I say. In other words, they want to make sure that I am not a hypocrite
I hide my light under a bucket when, although I preach that God is love, I fail to forgive others in the church, when I treat churches as consumer options and move between them, when I backbite or when I am simply apathetic in the face of horrific need and suffering. I let my light shine when I speak about God’s love and by my life show that I care, offering practical help, taking time to listen, being humble and willingly forgiving.
Are you hiding your light or are you letting It shine?
 See Matthew 5:14-16.