Whoever Lives the Truth

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What is the world supposed to see in me as a post-resurrection Christian person? Now, there’s a question worthy of some serious consideration. If I proclaim myself a Christian, just what should the world see in me?

The well known passage in the third chapter of John’s gospel that begins at verse 16, ʺGod so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life…,ʺ ends with the following thought at verse 21: ʺBut whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.ʺ A Christian who has come to know and believe in the truth about God, in and through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, lives that truth publicly, in the light of day, for all to see. So what should that look like then?

The world should see we Christians, unmistakably, as persons who are genuinely moved and supported by love. They should see in us a living, breathing example of compassion and mercy. These things a Christian does not do for ʺshow,ʺ but out of habit, out of the very nature of his or her character. Our Christian character requires us to be willing to be seen for who we are, our true selves. Our true selves are animated by our love for God, and his love for us. We are human beings, broken, but forgiven. Because we have had this personal experience of being loved and forgiven, we willingly and happily, ʺshare it forward,ʺ with all whom we meet throughout our days.

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Let the world see by our compassion and mercy that we are laborers for love in the world. Let all who see us in the world see us as a brother, a sister, who will be a faithful companion to them in their sufferings, as well as in their joys. Let them see in us a patience that endures the slights, the calumnies, and the hatreds of the world with forgiveness. Let them see in us a courage that confronts the world’s injustices boldly, in the name of Jesus, not just for our sake, but for the sake of the common good. Let them see us as champions willing to fight for and to defend the good for all of God’s children. Let them see that that courage rises up out of the conviction of our faith in the one who lived, died, and rose again, Jesus Christ. If we are truly Christian, the world should see in each of us one who is charged with joy, burning with wonder and awe for all of God’s creation, in all of its mind-boggling diversity and unspeakable beauty. Because we are so, the world should see in us people who are committed to a true sense of stewardship toward all of God’s wondrous creation.

Let us pray with all of our hearts, all of our souls, all of our minds, and all of our strength that God will always be in our minds, that Jesus will always be on our lips, and that the Holy Spirit will always be in our hearts, so that we may live as God’s true disciples in the world. Let us show God to the world in all that we do. By his cross and resurrection he has set us free from the slavery of sin and death. Let the world see our joy through our love.

In love spread round,
there beauty is found.

There is no greater beauty than in God. Let us spread God so well by our loving actions in the world that the world might find itself in beauty, in God’s unsurpassable beauty, once again.

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.