It’s difficult these days to look anywhere without hearing some political vitriol (on any side). I know several who are in a representative capacity either at my state capital, in my county or in DC; those who say they are Christian and yet vote on laws as if they are still slaves to Satan. Now it’s easy to notice these things in others; but the Holy Spirit wants us to examine our own life and behavior by God’s Word, not someone else’s life.
Jesus warned us against judging others. “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” (Matt 7:1-2) A little further in that chapter, Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruits.” (v16a). So if I leave my attention on what “they” are doing or not doing, then I’m being prideful, thinking myself better than they are, which is absolutely not true because we all “have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23), which includes you and me. Therefore we are called by God’s Word to examine the fruit of our own lives.
Others will be able to see who we truly are by the fruit of our actions, because “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor 5:17). Here’s a partial list of the “old things”: “immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these” (Gal 5:19-21).
If our life doesn’t look any different than those who do not know the Lord, why would the testimony of our lives draw others to Jesus? That, after all, is why we are still here on this earth: “we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us” (2 Cor 5:20). As His ambassadors, we are to walk in the Spirit so that our lives reflect the fruit of the Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Gal 5:22-23)
The Holy Spirit continues to prompt me to ask what needs to be pruned from my life. I invite you to prayfully join me, and ask the Holy Spirit to point out where the deeds of the flesh still have you chained to worldliness, which makes your testimony for Christ mute. No matter what it looks like, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood [not any person], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12 emphasis added) There are people in all of our lives whose names that Jesus does not know. It’s up to us to share His good news with them, but they won’t accept it if His light and love doesn’t visibly flow through us.