**HOLD FOR RELEASE UNTIL 4:00 P.M., MONDAY. FEB. 11** 104 year-old Rosa McGee, 104, sits in her apartment with her Bible Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008, in Chicago. A recent study has found that reaching the age of 100 has gotten easier. McGee is one of the healthy women in the study who managed to avoid chronic disease. The retired cook and seamstress is also strikingly lucid and credits her faith in God for her good health. She also gets lots of medical attention _ a doctor and nurse make home visits regularly. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

There is No Such Thing as a Private Relationship With God

I’ve run into a lot of people in my life who seem to think that their relationship with God is for them to know and for others to not worry about. And while I agree with them to a certain extent, the biblical text is clear that our relationships with God are called to be anything but private. Personal, yes. Private, no.

One group of passages that I frequently refer to in regards to one’s call to a life of public faith is Matthew 5:14-16, which states the following: “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

The core message in these verses are quite clear; that in the same way one wouldn’t light a lamp and then cover it to dilute its sole purpose, a Christian isn’t to discover the hope of Jesus and never share nor keep it hidden from the public eye. The life and deeds of a Christ-follower should exude out of you. This would completely contradict the calling of the Great Commission; “to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).”

It just doesn’t make any sense to stay quiet in a world that parades darkness and deceit. Our faith was made to be public. To be shared. To be discussed to those we come across. So what does this mean? It means that you’re called to be a shining example of a Christ-follower in all that you do, no matter what you do, no matter where you are, no matter who you come into contact with.

I guess I just have a hard time grasping the idea that someone can be fully devoted to Christ, yet hidden as it pertains to the public knowledge of that faith. I understand strategic evangelism as it pertains to countries where Christianity is illegal, but we as Americans really have no excuse to be silent when it comes to the existence of our relationships with God.

I’m not saying you need to be on the street corner with a banner that says ‘I Love Jesus!’ but I am saying you should have no issue letting people know who you’ve given your life to. We’re called to live unashamed to the fullest extent.

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