One thing the internet does is bring reviews to our fingertips. Reviews, positive or negative, are powerful in today’s world. We need a new roof. Who do we hire? In the past we would have called friends for their recommendations. Today, we surf the internet for roofing companies. The wise customer will look beyond the company’s own advertisements to what is often called “Google reviews.” The hope is that these would be independent, and therefore honest.
I think reviews are equally valuable when it comes to the Christian faith. We hesitate to actually own our belief. Even at church, we struggle to give a review for God. At coffee hour we seldom hear, “I felt God’s presence last night as I gazed at that spectacular sunset. I’m so grateful for the beauty of God’s creation.” Or “I couldn’t have survived this past week, without my faith.” Or “I believe God sent our friends Susan and John to visit last night because God knew we needed them.” We’re afraid to speak such things. Someone might be offended. It’s not polite. We don’t want to be labelled, fanatics.
Every word and action, positive and negative, conscious and unconscious, is a review, a witness for living a life of faith. Even our lack of words and actions are reviews for God.
Now that’s a huge responsibility. That may be why some of us hide our faith life as much as possible. We hide our acts of kindness in friendship, or neighbourliness. We walk strong without identifying the source of our strength. We go to church, but never invite others. We give God thanks everyday, but never tell anyone about God’s blessings. Then, we wonder why negative reviews of Christianity have permeated out society.
We can remove the power of those negative reviews. We can flood the world with identified Christians working for peace, caring for the hungry, befriending the poor. It won’t be anything new. We’re doing all these things already. All we need do is identify ourselves and our motives. We live a life of gratitude to God for all our blessings. We serve others as a response to that gratitude. Those good reviews are easy. We can do it. Let’s start today.
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20)