Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
Years ago a wonderful Christian friend of ours named Hal was hired to manage a type of music store by a major corporation. The corporation had pursued him given his successful track record. Once hired, they informed him that they were giving him a young salesman who had star potential but it wasn’t being realized.
This was due to a problem he had – he was forever witnessing to employees and customers about his Christian faith. He was more interested in witnessing than he was in doing his job. Hal was informed that this was the young man’s last chance. If he didn’t turn it around, he would be fired.
Hal called the young man into his office. After talking a bit, he asked the young man to take the lampshade off the lamp that was on an end table next to them and to turn the lamp on high so that the light was at its brightest. He then had the young man look directly at the light and Hal asked him to describe what he was experiencing. The young man complained that the glare of the light was uncomfortable to look at.
Hal then put the lampshade on the lamp and asked him to now describe his experience. He said that the light was attractive and pleasant to look at. Hal explained that with the lampshade, he was seeing a glow. Without the lampshade, he was seeing a glare. A glow attracts and a glare repels.
The same was true of his Christian witness. God wanted his witness done wisely, so that it was a glow – not a glare. It was also critical that his manner of working not compromise or undermine the testimony of his faith. By witnessing the way he had been doing and by not doing his job, he was coming on with a glare.
Fortunately, the young man was teachable and embraced the wisdom from Hal. He became the star salesman that everyone knew he could be, and importantly, he eliminated the compulsiveness of his witnessing. He was still able to share his faith, but with Hal’s help he did so in a manner that drew people to him and to the Lord rather than pushing them away.