What makes our faith visible? Is it the good acts we do? Is the amount of time we spend in church? Is it the visible ways we share our faith, like wearing jewelry with religious symbols, a t-shirt with a Bible verse, or a church bumper sticker? Is it how we hold hands and pray over our meal at a restaurant?
Sure, those do tell the world that we are religious, but what does it really say about our faith?
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1 NIV)
Jesus gives some stern warnings to us in Matthew 6 to not focus on the appearance of our faith, but rather on the heart of our faith. He tells us not to be like the hypocrites who are all show, but whose hearts are not in the right place. He warns of just going to church and doing good things for the sake of checking off the boxes. Don’t pray just to be seen praying. Don’t fast just to appear more devout. Don’t give just to prove how generous you are. Don’t serve just because you feel you should. Instead, serve out of love and a desire to honor and worship God.
Jesus says in Matthew 6 we’re to pray, fast, and give in secret, so we’re not tempted to do them for show. Does that mean we’re supposed to hide our faith? No, but he does want us to check our motives and make sure the outward reflections of our faith match the inner state of our heart. And, sometimes these actions are better done in secret to make sure our motives are pure.
A visible faith comes from a heart that’s been transformed by God and a faith that’s visible from the inside out. A visible faith is being so filled with love for God that it spilled out in all your actions. It’s being so full of thanksgiving for who God is, that you can’t help from sharing it with others.
When our heart is in the right place and our motives are pure then those visible ways we show our faith are authentic.Do the outward reflections of your faith match the inner state of your heart? #VisibleFaith Click To Tweet
We wear that cross necklace because we love God and want to keep a reminder of Him close. We hang religious art in our homes because we are so grateful for all God has done in our lives that we want to surround ourselves with reminders of Him. We wear that t-shirt with a scripture verse because our lives are so consumed with passion for Him that those verses are a part of who we are. We pray before our meals – even in public – because we want to remain in conversation with God throughout our day and give thanks for all He’s provided.
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-7 MSG)
The visible markers of our faith should reflect the inner state of our heart and our love for God. The ways we show our faith should reflect love to others, show honor and praise to God, and remind us to keep our eyes fixed on Him. The outward expressions of our faith can also be great conversation starters with others and ways to plant seeds of what faith can be.
As you notice the outward expressions of your faith, do they match the inner state of your heart and love for God?
If you are looking for ways to more outwardly share the faith that’s overflowing your heart, I’d love for you check out some of my affiliates – Day Spring, Family Christian Stores, and Kerusso. Below are few of my favorites (things I own or have on my wish list!). (If you purchase anything through a link here, I get a small commission to help sustain this blog. I promise I’ll only promote products I personally love.)
I just bought this t-shirt and I LOVE it! So comfortable and it’s a reminder of my one-word for this year, “trust.” Lots of awesome shirts (short sleeve, long sleeve, adults and children) here with messages of faith!