This is a very practical and all-inclusive statement. “Whatever you do or say” doesn’t leave out much. If we’re not doing, we’re saying; if we’re not saying, we’re doing something. About the only time I can think of when we are not doing or saying is when we’re asleep. That means the switch is on all the time. You and I are at all times representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. Not just when we’re doing something spiritual. Not just when we are teaching a Bible study or a Sunday school class, or singing in a worship band, or talking to someone about Jesus, but all the time — everything we do and say.
As a “professional Christian” — one who makes a living as a minister of the gospel — it is easy for me to fall into segmenting my life to when I am “on” spiritually and when I am “off.” On stage or on the Internet in front of a camera, I am conscious about depending on the Lord for what I am saying and doing. I’m “on” in that I am drawing on the Spirit’s power for everything. It’s what gave me the courage to get up there in the first place. I know the Lord has given me certain gifts and I rely on those gifts when I get up in front of any audience.
My wife and I have been talking about this a lot lately because she is acutely aware of the difference in me when I am “on” and when I am “off” because she has to live with me all the time. For me this is all about being engaged. When I am “on” I’m engaged with the Lord, with my gift, with who I’m talking to — what their needs are, what will connect with them, etc. But when I’m “off” I become disengaged. In some cases I might as well not even be in the room. Somewhere along the line I got the idea that I have a right to be “off.” Like I have to somehow save myself for the next time I’m “on.” This is ridiculous because I don’t rely on my own energy when I’m “on” anyway, but on His. I think this is all about being selfish and lazy. Like the guy who comes home from work and he’s tired, overworked and thinks he has a right to not be worth much of anything to anyone in the house.
This verse hit me hard between the eyes and I’m grateful for it because it basically tells me that there is no “off” switch. It doesn’t exist. If I am a representative of the Lord Jesus in everything that I do and say, there is clearly no time off there. No time when I am not a representative of the Lord Jesus, and when does a representative of the Lord Jesus get to be selfish or lazy?
So my new goal is to be engaged with the Lord, my gifts, my creativity and those around me as much as I am when on stage. There should be no difference.
There is simply no “off” switch for the Christian. We are always and at all times operating as “a representative of the Lord Jesus.” How are you doing today? How are you doing right now?