You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men. (2 Corinthians 3:2)
Reading The Letter Of Your Life
Every soul on the face of the earth has an influence. Like ripples on a pond, each life is a force that impacts others. The existence of a person determines influence. It does not matter whether the person is outgoing, quiet, reserved, boisterous, or known by many, each time a baby is born the world changes by one. The greatest power a person can have is the ability to influence others. This can be a good thing or this could be a bad thing. A person can’t lose their influence but rather they may negatively impact others but the negativity is an influence. In the kingdom of God, one of the most important parts of the character of a child of God is the impression they have on others. Jesus taught that men are like a light set on a hill shining before men or like salt seasoning the world in which they live. The purpose of the disciple of Jesus is to glorify the Father.
The challenge of influence is to remember the impact of that influence. Paul suggested the Christian is like an epistle or a letter of recommendation known and read by all men. That is a pretty serious charge. It is clear that everything a person says and does is known by God. What is also important to the nature of being a child of God is to see how others look at the life of those who profess a holy devotion to the Lord. When a man puts on Christ in obedience to the gospel, he becomes a follower of Jesus. The world will now view the life of this man through the lens of critical judgment if he is like Jesus. Like a book, the life of the man will now be examined under the microscope of how he molds himself to the principles of righteousness. Will he show his faith in the principles of the Bible or will he change little from the trappings of the world? What is remarkable is how perceptive men of the world are to those who profess to be followers of Jesus that do not live like they follow Jesus.
A book is something that is read and measured by the merits of its content. The life of a Christian is like living in a glasshouse. Their actions and manner of life will be judged more harshly because of their profession to the name of Christ. The life of the Christian must reflect the image of God so that all men will see grace, truth, and love instead of the carnal nature of the world. When the Christian woman dresses immodesty in the fashion of the world, they are presenting to the world an epistle of worldliness with no desire to please Christ. Unclad women do not profess godliness. If a man continues to drink socially he declares in epistle form that he is unchanged in his character from the world. He does not profess Jesus Christ in his life. The Christian that continues to use foul language, coarse jesting, and crude jokes will not be a good book to read. Facebook (and other social mediums) are spiritual World Book Encyclopedias of the character of many people who profess to be righteous disciples of Christ yet in their postings filled with political poison, prejudice, hatred and filthy language show the world they are not devoted to Jesus Christ.
People read the epistles of men. Paul exhorted the saints at Corinth to live in such a manner that when their lives are read by the world, what is found is the grace of God and the power of His glory. No greater tool of evangelism is found than the letters of daily living from those who dedicate themselves to letting their lights shine brightly in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. People will read your epistle whether you want them to or not. The question is whether what they are reading is devoted to God or if you are still wallowing in the mire of carnality. Influence is a powerful tool and can lead someone to eternal life. It can also help someone continue to reject the gospel of Jesus Christ and lose their soul. You are a book. What do others read about you? Tough question. Hard answer.