“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
I’m going to dare to ask a controversial question so I hope you, dear readers, will be kind to one another as you debate the answer.
Which is better?
Android or Apple.
People can be surprisingly passionate about their answer. And, not to stereotype, but those who are loyal to Apple tend to be especially passionate. So much so that they will wait in long lines for the latest product and pay significantly more for it than a non-Apple counterpart. Personally, I am not part of the Apple family so I asked some of those who are why they are willing to pay so much more for their electronic devices.
The answers I get are pretty similar. No updates are required. They can’t get a virus. They were the first so they know how to do it best. They last longer.
Those who buy Apple products are, in short, paying for the device but are also buying the brand and reputation. And I will admit, Apple has done a very good job at promoting their brand.
In a way, we as Christians have a much more important “brand” we represent. Colossians 3:17 reminds us all we say and all we do should be a reflection of Jesus Christ. It reminds us every act, no matter how small, has significance when it comes to our faith.
In the mid-1990’s, DC Talk put out an album which included a short clip of someone speaking. The words they said have always stuck with me:
“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”
Whatever you do. At church. At home. At work. At school. In your free time. Do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus. Why? Because an unbelieving world is watching.
And if we are honest with ourselves, we like the thought of the world watching us when we are having a good day. Those days when things seem to all be going well, when you are in a great mood, when everything just falls into place; those days are the days when it is a great feeling to think about how all you do reflects Christ’s presence in your life. And then there are the less than great days. The days where you wish with all your heart you could just climb back into bed, go to sleep, and wake up from what feels like a bad dream. The days where you are cranky and short tempered. I don’t know about you, but I would rather those days NOT be seen by a world trying understand the love, grace, and mercy of Jesus Christ because I am not being a very good example.
The truth is, we are unable to do everything perfectly. We are called to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, not just because the world is watching and expecting perfection, but because we also need His help if we have any hope of being successful in this endeavor. Colossian 3:17 is just as much a reminder of how much we are to rely on Jesus and give thanks to the Father as it is a reminder of how our words and actions reflect our Christian faith.
And small things do matter. When I was a freshman in college, I often ate supper with a rather eclectic group of people. While I know a least some of them grew up going to church, I am fairly certain not a single one professed a Christian faith during their college years. But they welcomed me into their group. We would laugh together, stress together, and live life together for an hour or so most nights as we attempted to swallow the daily offerings of the cafeteria. I would excuse myself for Bible study or worship, they would excuse themselves to be off to just about anything else, and we would gather again 24 hours later. They were my friends. I never hid my faith but I never preached at them either.
Towards the end of the year I was hanging out in the main lounge of my dorm one evening with a couple of those friends when one girl from the group, Kassie, happened upon us. She had just come from a speaker who challenged those in attendance to build a relationship with someone who lived life from a different worldview. Kassie had decided she needed to find some Christians. She was actually a little surprised to fully realize she already had a Christian in her circle of friends. Why? Because I hadn’t lectured her, hadn’t judged her, hadn’t condemned her, hadn’t tried to convert her. She had met many Christians who had treated her as a project, and none who had invested in her as a true friend.
I will not claim we had been super close. But I did genuinely appreciate and care about the people I shared a meal with most days and Kassie had noticed. As a result of the million small things which go into being a good friend, a great conversation about who Jesus really is, why faith is important to me, and why I seemed so different than other Christians was able to happen.
So whatever you do, be it sharing a meal with a friend, leading a worldwide ministry, or anything in between, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. When you have the good days, give thanks to God. When you have the bad days, acknowledge your imperfections and seek God’s strength to do better in the future.
1. Our summer staff has put this verse to music and added actions. Follow along to help you memorize Col 3:17!
2. St. Therese of Lisieux lived in 18th Century France. She strived to do all things for Christ, no matter how small or how unpleasant. Take some time to read about her life and how she became known as the Saint of the "Little Way" or "Little Flower." CLICK HERE.
3. Like Kassie did, consider who in your life has a different worldview from your own. Take a small step to build a true, genuine friendship with them. Make it your goal to love them as Jesus would and be a true and genuine friend to them. Let your life be your testimony.