Are you praying for someone right now who needs a touch from God or who needs to experience His love in a tangible way? Every one of us knows someone like that — and we also know those who need to experience Christ as Savior, who need to rededicate their lives to Christ, or who need to make an adjustment in their lifestyle or manner of living.

Have you ever thought about the fact that you may be the answer to someone else’s prayer? Maybe someone you don’t even know is praying for a friend or loved one who lives or works in your sphere of influence — and God wants to use you to answer that person’s prayer! God created you to shine as a light in darkness for all those around you to see. Your actions, your behavior, and your witness for Christ may be the only Christian message those people have ever heard. So never forget that your life is a pulpit, and there is definitely someone who is watching your life and taking note of your words, deeds, and attitudes!

I’ll illustrate this truth by sharing a very sobering discovery Denise and I made one day. We were in a restaurant and realized that the woman who was serving our table was very close to converting to Christ. Because the restaurant was not busy that day, we took a few minutes to talk to her. During our conversation, I asked her what was the best and worst day of the week for a waiter in terms of tips. Without hesitation, she answered, “Sundays are the worst days. In fact, none of the servers in this restaurant wants to work on Sundays.”

When I asked her why no one wanted to work on Sundays, she told me, “I’m embarrassed to say it, but the most demanding, hard-to-please customers — and those who leave the smallest tips — are usually Christians.” She continued, “When people come into the restaurant carrying their Bibles, the waiters immediately start arguing about who has to serve that table because we know it’s going to take a lot of work and they won’t leave much of a tip.”

She added, “It’s sad that a Bible in a person’s hands is a warning sign that trouble lies ahead”!

Hearing about the negative influence that believers had exerted on the employees in that restaurant, I ask more specifically about how those who worked with her responded. She told me, “The people who work here can’t understand how Christians can go to church and then come to this restaurant and treat the servers so badly. Most of us would rather serve unbelievers because they treat us nicer and leave bigger tips.”

It’s unfortunate, but true, that often Christians unintentionally do or say things that leave unbelievers with a sour taste in their mouths. They forget that their life is their pulpit, and their life is the strongest message they will ever preach.

If we’re honest, I think we all probably regret something we said or did in front of an unbeliever at some point in our lives. We’ve all made comments or acted in ways that we later regretted. For example, has there ever been a time when you listened to someone tell a crude joke, and later learned that unbelievers who were present couldn’t understand how a Christian could laugh at such a joke? Or have you ever acted so selfish and self-centered that those you were trying to win for Christ were totally turned off by you? Or have you ever lost your temper, exploded in anger, or uttered words that were not fitting for a child of God — and unbelievers saw you do it?

I don’t mean to make you feel guilty or condemned because God certainly offers forgiveness when we miss the mark and sin. But as Christians, we must be aware that a lost world is watching us. We should never forget that we may be the only Jesus some people will ever see. We must constantly ask ourselves, What kind of Jesus do people see as they watch my life?

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