“You’re a walking billboard for what you believe in.”
Turk Holt is one of my mentors and he told me that several years ago. Back then, I don’t know that I really understood what he meant. Now I do.
It’s one thing to say that you believe in something. You can even put a bumper sticker on your car broadcasting what you believe. But it all tends to get lost in the clutter and busyness of our lives. Tons of people say tons of things about what they believe in and bumper stickers are everywhere. Words, whether written or spoken, have a way of going unnoticed.
But there’s one thing that’s harder to ignore.
If you really want to know what someone believes, watch how they live their life. That’s because Turk was right. Every human being is a walking billboard for what they believe in.
When you allow worry to consume you, you are telling everyone in your environment that we are all on our own and victims of chance. Sure, you may say that God is in control but in reality, you are preaching a gospel where no one is in charge and God has forgotten about us.
When you drive around town with your church tag or bumper sticker on your car, you can be certain that people are paying more attention to the advertisement seated behind the steering wheel than they are the one on the back bumper. When you constantly fight for power and having things your way, when you complain and tear down others and when you gossip, your bumper sticker is telling everyone, “If you come to my church, you’ll regret it.”
If you claim Christ but your life is characterized by continual sin with no repentance or struggle to kill that sin, you are telling the world that none of it really matters to God. Like that Algebra class that you barely passed in high school, everything will eventually work our in your favor in the end.
I am a pastor. A lot of people at my church just call me preacher. I think that’s probably because preaching is the most important part of my job. But really, I’m no different from you. Like it or not, you are a preacher too. And every sermon you preach is written on that billboard otherwise known as your life.
Almost every week in the days leading up to my sermon, my wife asks me the same question. It’s a question that every Christian, not just every pastor, should answer after careful self-evaluation.
“So what are you preaching on?”
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 (ESV)