On my way in to work this morning, I saw something I’ve seen several times before (and have experienced as well).
I saw one car today that was going the speed limit with another car tailgating on the person’s bumper. I was behind them both for a few minutes and I could tell that the car that was on the other person’s bumper was really getting impatient and frustrated over this slow-moving, “law keeper”. He couldn’t wait to pass this slow poke and step on the gas.
But, what happened next, I’ve seen before. Just up ahead was a policeman on the look-out for speeders. I just had to laugh. For several minutes and a few miles, all the impatient driver could do was wait for the right moment to fly past this guy who was doing the speed limit. Little did the frustrated driver realize that by keeping at the speed limit and not speeding past the first driver, he was actually, most likely saving the cost and hassle of earning a speeding ticket as he would have been zooming past the policeman.
A bit further down the road, the impatient driver did eventually zoom speed past the driver who was obeying the speed limit. My guess is that as the frustrated driver flashed past the first driver, he did not wave a sign of gratitude for helping him not get a ticket, but in actuality, the first driver’s keeping the law and acting as a source of preventing others from speeding is what happened.
This little driving observation made me realize a few things. As Christians we are to be salt and light in this world. That means we are not to only be concerned about our walk, but we are also to be mindful that our lives are significant in that God can use our actions to influence others for Himself and as a help to others, whether they realize it or not.
Sometimes others will notice the life within us and our positive behaviors and will be drawn to us. They will appreciate our example of godly living. However, many times, there are others that will be repulsed by us. For some, they may misunderstand what we are doing. For others, our positive actions might be used by God to bring a sense of conviction because they are recognizing they are not living in a righteous way. In fact, there can be many reasons why our actions (and our very selves) might be rejected by others. Christians, don’t let that surprise you. The Bible mentions this will happen (2 Tim. 1:8, Matthew 5:10,12, 2 Timothy 3:12)
I further thought that not all people will be grateful for our good conduct and appreciate all that Christians do. That’s unfortunate because everyone appreciates being respected, although we live in a godly way not out of selfish interests, but out of gratefulness for what God has done and is doing through us.
I think the following verses describe the situation well:
In 2 Corinthians :14-16 (nlt), it says, 14 But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. 15 Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. 16 To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?
Christian, your life matters. It matters to God, and the way in which you do your walk matters to this world. Don’t be afraid to look to look in your rear view mirror and see someone angry with you. You are being a help to them!