—ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ–– 2 Cor.3:3
Every Christian should think of themselves as a living epistle, known and read by all those they come in contact with. It is as the old saying goes, “You are the only Bible some people will ever read”. J. R. Miller reminded us of the importance of this many years ago:
There is a silent personal influence, like a shadow, which goes out from everyone–and this influence is always leaving results and impressions wherever it touches. You cannot live a day–and not touch some other life. Wherever you go–your shadow falls on others, and they are either better or worse for your presence.
Our influence depends upon what we are–more than upon what we do. It is by living a beautiful life–that we bless the world. I do not under-estimate holy activities. Good deeds must characterize every true life. Our hands must do holy works. But if the life itself is noble, beautiful, holy, Christ-like, one that is itself a blessing and an inspiration–the worth of the influence is many times multiplied.
So dear friends, if we are the “only Bible some people will ever read”, how sad it will be if the print is blurred by the ugly stain of sin. Others often judge Christ by what they see in Christians—let’s make certain that the picture is clear and that our influence draws them to Christ. “To be like Jesus”–let that be our prayer!