She sat on the pew in front of me in Church. She couldn’t be more than 20. Her blouse hung loosely over her shoulder, exposing her bra strap.
The woman sitting next to me pulled up the blouse to cover the bra strap. The young lady turned around and glared at me. I quickly pointed to the woman sitting next to me!
She turned her gaze to the woman, rolled her eyes and pulled down her blouse to expose her bra strap again.
The woman said, “Young lady, you bra is showing! It’s indecent!”
She responded, “Old woman, I want it to show! It’s none of your business!
I just smiled.
Children of nowadays…
That incident happened a while ago. People do things DELIBERATELY. They are not always guided by your morality or your standards. The woman felt the girl was unnecessarily exposing herself, the girl made her know she was not only aware, she was doing it DELIBERATELY! She wasn’t ignorant of the exposure. The poor woman who was old enough to be the young lady’s mother was carried away by her maternal instinct and she wanted to “help” her out. She only received a scathing response from her caustic tongue.
Now, God says in Scripture: “For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch” (Isaiah 62:1).
In other words, God wants our righteousness to be seen! God expects people to SEE us and KNOW we are Christians! That Scripture continues, “The Gentiles will SEE your righteousness…” (Isaiah 62:2). The good thing here is, unlike the young lady who deliberately allowed her blouse to drop off her shoulder to expose her bra strap, we are not expected to show off our righteousness by being sanctimonious like the Pharisees and Sadducees, or by speaking “Christianese”. We are not expected to make any effort in showing our righteousness: the onus is on God to reveal it! He is committed to it. “I will not keep quiet until your righteousness shines out”, He said. Our responsibility is just to LIVE OUR LIVES AS SCRIPTURE DICTATES. He will do the rest.
As a Christian, your spirit should be able to connect with other Christians even without saying a word. Your spirits should connect: it’s like bluetooth! I have had such experiences before and it is always glorious!
Dunsin Oyekan sang a song, BREATHE. He said, “Father to Child, SPIRIT TO SPIRIT…” Spirits connect!
It is expected for Christians to connect in the Spirit.
It is also expected for non Christians to KNOW you are a Christian.
About 33 years ago (1990), I attended a Reinhard Bonnke Crusade in Jos, Nigeria. He told a story I will never forget. He said he was once in a public Park, reading a book, minding his business. He was just like any other person in the Park, just relaxing and having some time to himself. Then a man walked up to him and greeted him. They exchanged pleasantries and the man said, “Can you please pray for me? I have a serious problem…” He was shocked! He was sure nobody could recognize him in the Park: he wore a cap and he had a muffler around his face. He prayed for the man and he left. Bonnke said he wondered how he knew he was a Christian. Then the Holy Spirit told him, “I live inside you and sometimes I look out through the windows (his eyes)!” That man looked at Bonnke’s eyes and KNEW he was a Christian and could help him!
Reinhard Bonnke’s righteousness shone out like the dawn, his salvation like a blazing torch; the Gentile saw his righteousness!
He did not say anything in that Park before the man came to him.
He was not preaching: he did not wear the toga of an evangelist in that Park.
He was not reading the Bible in that Park.
But somehow, a stranger KNEW he was a Christian and came to him for help!
When strangers see you, what do they SEE?
When you are in a public place, how do people PERCEIVE you?
Does your righteousness shine out?
I later had an interesting experience. In 2015, thereabouts, I worked on a site. We ran out of some items on site, so I drove to the building materials market to buy them: binding wire, nails, circular cutting blade, sand paper etc. I had guessed the cost of everything and I believed I held enough money. I got to a shop and picked all the materials. The shop owner calculated the cost: it was about five thousand Naira more than what I had on me!
I told him I didn’t have enough money; I would go to the bank to withdraw more and return to pick the items (this was long before the era of phone transfer).
The shop owner then said, “Don’t worry: take the items and give me what you have. Bring the balance at your convenience”.
I joked, “What if I run away with the balance and never come back?” He responded; “You won’t do that. You are a Pastor!”
I had never met the shop owner before. I didn’t speak Christianese in his shop: all I did was buy some items and mention I did not have enough money to pay for them.
But somehow, my righteousness shone out like the dawn, my salvation like a blazing torch!
I left the market with a smile on my face. I guess the Holy Spirit looked out of the window when I was in the shop! That day, I understood what Reinhard Bonnke meant.
I was back at the shop the next day to pay the balance…