If you still consider yourself young, and you attend a nourishing Christian church, please stand up. If you’ve been raised by parents who thanked God before every meal, led in regular family devotions, and supported the church, please stand up. If you know God in a personal way, and look forward to spending time with Him every day, please stand up. If you have people in your life that care about you enough to share all your stress and burdens in life, PLEASE STAND UP. You are in that 1% or so of people in the world who have been given some of the richest blessings in the world!
Now could I look you square in the eye (since I’m standing right with you) and ask you about those around you? Could I ask you whether those close around you know that you’re blessed? Do they know that Jesus is real to you? And do you love the unsaved enough to share the Good News with them? If you’re standing with a life ring on the edge of a raging, out-of-control flooded river filled with many drowning people, it doesn’t take too much love to throw in that life ring and pull someone to safety. Yet daily, we, who call ourselves Christians, focus on ourselves and fail to see the needs right around us. How can we say we love them?
I am not asking you to get in your friend’s face tomorrow and tell them they’re going to hell. Today I want to stand with you and confess that I don’t always love the world around me enough to encourage them to heaven. We are lights in a broken, messed up world, [philippians 2.15] and because of our young years, our lives can shine very brightly! Some of us may not yet be tinted with hurts and scars, and some shades are maybe scratched up a lot. But that’s not the point. Those around you know more about you than you think. They can tell when life isn’t easy for you, and the way you respond to those things affects them. It just does. *If you recoil at this idea, and decide to become a hermit, so as to become totally free and lose all responsibility to humanity, even that will affect everyone who knows you.* We need to be more active in our daily mission field; talking about God, praising Him, and bringing Him into our world in conversation and testimony.
But use words if you have to. Allow your actions to tell the truest story about you. Live in integrity, and obedience, and do all things with thanksgiving. [colossians 2.7] Learn to live with patience and longsuffering with joyfulness. [colossians 1.11] Lay down your ‘rights’ for the sake of peace. Encourage where you see a need. Create conversations that matter. Speak only what God has spoken to you. [numbers 23.26] Stand up, take the first step, and live a daily walk with Christ.
By the way, Ephesians 5.1-21 is an excellent road map with which to start.
Please, smile more. Give the world a reason to wonder what’s up with you. Thank you.