Keep Your Religion To Yourself...Really?
“I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth From the great assembly.” Psalm 40:10
“You should keep your religion to yourself. It’s a personal thing”…Really?
There is a unique reality to the Christian faith that sets it apart from all other religions, if one thinks of it as a religion. It is not a private matter peculiar to the believer alone. It is personal but it is also a matter of public profession and proclamation.
“And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.' ” Mark 16:15
Our faith is not to be held in secret, away from the eyes and ears of the world. The light of Jesus that shines in us is not to be hidden under a bushel or secluded in the dark away from those who walk in that darkness. It is to be put on the highest place so that it can shine and illuminate all who see it. That light is the only light that points the way to salvation, salvation that can only be found in one name—Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
“No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.” Luke 11:33
If we hide that light the world has no other way to find it. Jesus left that commission to us and we must not let it be forfeited in the winds of political correctness or some pseudo-religious notion that we should keep our religion to ourselves. In a nation where freedom of speech is protected we have the right regardless of the naysayers and critics to the contrary, to speak and proclaim our faith, unashamed and unafraid to all who are willing to hear us. I do not say that we should force our message on any or expect to live by the moral and ethical standard that we have in Christ.
I do not say that the Bible teaches that we should make ourselves a nuisance in places where people gather for purposes other than hearing someone preach or make public pronouncements of their religious beliefs. But, wherever we work and interact on a personal basis with others, our faith should be evident in the manner of our whole life, the nature of our conversation, the measure of our moral and ethical beliefs and actions, in the way we express love, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, generosity, help, kindness, encouragement, honesty, integrity and strength of character; how we speak, the purity of our words; always giving God the glory for whatever achievements we may earn or promotions we may be given. We are commissioned to let it be known to all that we live and move and have our being in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Everything about us should clearly reveal to the world that we are called by the name of the Lord, that we belong to Christ, that we are no more ashamed of Him than we would be ashamed of our earthly brother who would be a hero in the eyes of the world because of his human achievements, professional successes, inventions, discoveries or personal sacrifices for others, particularly the poor and weak. The family of God is our family, and with all the pride and love of beloved children of God we honor Him above all others, publically and privately.
No, we must not keep our faith to ourselves. If we do the very rocks and stones would cry out in praise to our God.
“And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” Luke 19:40
“Let those refuse to sing
who never knew our God.
But children of the heavenly king
may speak their joys abroad.”
“We’re Marching To Zion” text by Isaac Watts 1707