Conspicuous Christlikeness

Kevin DeYoung

READ : Matthew 5:14-16

“. . . let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (v. 16 ESV)

The world is dark, so if Christians are the light of the world (v. 14) we are going to stand out. We must live noticeably good lives so that God will be glorified by what we do in his name.

Our piety needs both “right-wing” and “left-wing” virtues. James 1:27 says “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” As Christians, we cannot just be against everything. We need to be for something—for the helpless poor in affliction. That’s the “left-wing.” But we must be for more than the hurting or oppressed. We must also be for righteousness and moral purity. That’s the right wing. It takes both wings to fly.

Whatever our moral cause, we must keep our conduct honorable, so that whether we are criticized from the left or the right, others will see our good deeds and glorify God (1 Peter 2:12). When we live God’s way no matter the cost, it shows the world that God is more valuable to us than privilege or prestige. And that brings him great glory.


Father, in this crooked generation, help us shine as lights in the world. Amen.