I’m often surprised when Christians seem shocked at the darkness of the world. Consider the outrage so many have every time a distasteful or lewd movie comes out of Hollywood. It’s as if we expect those who are without Christ to behave according to the same standards we as a church are called to live by—and then we are shocked when they don’t.

It is complete ignorance for a Christian to disdain an individual who has not received Jesus as their Master because of their lifestyle. This person’s spiritual DNA is to sin, and that is just what they do. It may come as a news flash, but sinners sin.

What is freaky and completely unnatural is a “believer” who habitually or willfully sins. The reason I put believer in quotation marks is that a person who practices sin may declare Jesus as their Savior and Lord, but in reality, He is not. If He truly were, that person would manifest a godly nature in their life. Jesus made this clear by saying:

“Different kinds of fruit trees can quickly be identified by examining their fruit. A variety that produces delicious fruit never produces an inedible kind. And a tree producing an inedible kind can’t produce what is good. So the trees having the inedible fruit are chopped down and thrown on the fire. Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit produced.” (Matthew 7:17–20 TLB)

What Jesus states here is not complex, and it is definitely unalterable. The cause of what is produced is not the fruit. It is the nature of the tree. However, the tree’s nature shows up at the fruit level. If you approach a bush that bears healthy blueberries, you know it is a bush that is good for food. On the other hand, if you find poisonous berries, the bush is not good. The proof, or evidence, that a tree is good or poisonous is in the kind of fruit it produces. Even so, Jesus says the way to identify whether people are genuine Christians is not by what they say, how religious they may seem, or how often they attend Christian gatherings. Rather it is by what they do!

Rather than demanding the world live up to God’s standards, let’s turn our focus instead on ourselves. As Christians, we are called to repent and turn from our sin and embrace God’s ways as our own—and we are equipped and empowered by His Spirit to do just that. It is only when we begin to live out the ways of Jesus that the world will see Him. We shouldn’t blame those in darkness for stumbling. Rather, we should be the light that shines upon their path and helps them find their way home. Let’s wholeheartedly embrace the words of Jesus when He said,

“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 ESV)

After all, when a room is dark, you don’t yell at the darkness.

You turn on the light.

If you liked this post, I write about this and much more in my book Driven by Eternitygrab a copy here!