A Big Impact…
Our sins not only hurt us, but they make an impact in the lives of others as well:
“For, as it is written, ‘Because of you the name of God is reviled among the Gentiles.'” -Romans 2:24 NAB
In today’s verse, Paul is quoting the Old Testament (Isaiah 52:5), and it is a verse that tells how the actions of the Israelites affect the world around them. Their immorality caused their neighbors to revile or criticize God, and the same holds true for us today. When we share our faith with the world by our lips, but deny it by our lifestyle, we will actually turn more people away from God than toward God.
Do your actions reflect your faith? Can people tell that you are a Catholic without you saying a word? Is your faith so evident to others that you never have to share it? If not, it is possible that your actions are not 100% living up to your words. (Don’t worry, I’m not sure how well I could answer those questions either.)
Now is the time when most people began to rationalize this to make themselves feel better. For instance, they will tell themselves, “Well, I’m not perfect, and I’m not trying to be.” My response – no one is perfect, no one expects you to be, but our Lord, the one who gave you this life in the first place, expects you to try. That’s it. Try. You will stumble. You will fall. Yet, no matter how many times you stumble or fall, you need to keep on trying anyway.
Always remember that the world is watching, and as a Catholic and Christian, they will scrutinize your life even more. They will analyze your every move and use your every mistake as a reason to hate God and criticize Christianity. The world is full of people who “hate God,” but they know very little about Him. Their only vision of God is what they see through us, by our words and actions. Ensure that you are giving them a clear picture of the wonderful, merciful, glorious God that you and I have both come to know and love.