In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see,
so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. Matthew 5:16 NLT
She’d been in the closet for five years. Now she was coming out.
Collecting old picture frames with photos of unknown dead people is a hobby of mine my wife doesn’t particularly appreciate. She does, however, love the old frames with the ornate handiwork and will gladly replace the dead person with a modern piece of art.
This particular closet dweller hung on my office wall for three years, eyes following everyone who looked at her regardless of where they stood. Then we moved to our current residence, and my wife said, “No dead people hanging on our walls—except in your office.” But my dead girl with the roving eyes wasn’t even allowed there. I convinced my wife not to sell her. Instead, we stuck her in a closet.
One day when I came home from work, I found my girl leaning against a bookshelf. My wife had cleaned out the closet in my study.
“Why is my dead girl picture out of the closet?” I asked.
“I have a place on the wall you can hang her.” And she did. Now as I walk in every morning, her wandering eyes greet me. I’m glad she got to come out of the closet.
Jesus doesn’t like closet dwellers either. He wants our lights—our good deeds, to shine brightly before others. Putting a light under a cover or shielding it only dims the light or extinguishes it all together.
The light I have as a believer is my testimony of what Christ has done in my life as well as how I act out daily the difference he has made. I don’t have to preach a sermon to tell others what he has done. Because of the snippet-world technology has created, I need to shorten my testimony to the bare essentials so I can share it in a minute or two.
But what I say isn’t nearly as important as what others see. Words mean little without actions to back them. God gives me numerous opportunities to act out my faith in practical ways. And I’ll see them if I ask him to give me a gentle nudge when he sends them my way.
Martin Wiles is an author, teacher, and freelance editor currently residing in Greenwood, South Carolina. He and his wife Michelle are founders and editors of Love Lines from God (www.lovelinesfromgod.com). Wiles has authored Grits & Grace & God and Grits, Gumbo, and Going to Church (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), Morning By Morning,Morning Serenity, Grace Greater Than Sin (America Star Books), Authentic Christianity (Smashwords) and is a contributing author in Penned from the Heart (Son-Rise Publications), and Rise (Chaplain Publishing). He has served as Regional Correspondent and Sunday school lesson writer for the Baptist Courier and also written for LifeWay’s Bible Studies for Life curriculum. He has also been published in Open Windows, Proclaim, The Secret Place, Upper Room, Light from the Word, Reach Out Columbia, Mustard Seed Ministries, Journey Christian Newspaper,Common Ground Herald, The Quiet Hour, and Power for Living. He is a regular contributor to Christian Devotions, and PCC Daily Devotions, and is a regular contributor for the Dorchester County Eagle Record, the Orangeburg County Times and Democrat, and the Greenwood County Index Journal. Wiles also serves as the Managing Editor for Christian Devotions and as an assistant Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolina. You can follow him @linesfromgod.