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You read the Bible. You go to church on Sundays. You pray to God. However, that doesn't mean you haven't heard these six words:
'I didn't know you were Christian'
Those words can strike a punch to your heart.
As Jesus told his followers, "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house" (Matt 5:15). His statement indicates that Christians are defined by the way that they are different, the way they shine Jesus' light to the world.
So if someone has said these words to you - or you want to make sure no one does - here are a few ways you can focus your faith.
'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in' - Matt 25:35
Jesus lived his life in service to others. The best way to live your beliefs is to follow his example by selflessly caring for those around you. Pray to see people who need your help. It may be to lend a helping hand to a mom whose arms are too full, to leave an encouraging note for someone who needs a lift or to cry with someone whose pain is deep. If you are praying to see these opportunities, God will help you see them; you will be an answer to someone's prayer.
'Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples' - Psalms 96:3
Above all, people may not know you're a Christian simply because you never say you are. It's natural to be concerned about being so aggressive about your beliefs that you ostracize people. However, people won't be bothered about you being yourself. In fact, they'll probably welcome it. When someone asks you what you did over the weekend, include your Sunday church service. When someone confides their challenges to you, ask them if you can pray for them.
These are ways that you can declare the gospel simply by being yourself. Look for these opportunities so that you can live God's command to "declare his glory among the nations."
'Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things' - Philippians 4:8
Paul defines Christianity as a focus on what is good. Why is it so important to think about things that are just, lovely and pure? As Proverbs 23:7 says, "For as [a man] thinketh, so he is." You become what you think about. This means you need to beware of allowing things that are not good into your mind.
For example, avoid of media that doesn't depict the pure and honorable. Not only will watching inappropriate media call your adherence to Christianity into question, but lewd, immoral movies and shows will also erode your spirituality. In other words, Paul advises Christians to avoid what is immoral because thinking about immorality (by watching it) can cause you to act immorally. Don't underestimate the power that media and other influencers can have on your celebration of Christianity.