But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants. John 3:21
This scripture seems to indicate that I should do what is righteous so others can see it. Is this a promotion of piety? There are scriptures that warn against fasting for someone else’s approval, or praying lofty prayers to impress others, or making sure certain people know how much money was given to the kingdom. Self-exaltation can’t be what is meant here.
This is Jesus’ closing statement to Nicodemus and though this ruler of the Jews came to Jesus as one who probably believed he was living a life that pleased God, he left having been introduced to a new paradigm of what it means to live as a true disciple.
Those who do what is right must first come to the Light. It all starts with exposure of sin and the beholding of the Righteous One. There is no way to spend time with the Him without an awareness that rule-keeping can be sinful if self is the focus. I discover that the only way I can do anything that pleases God is to bask in His glory and depend on His grace to live as His child.
From there, I want others to know that the ways that I choose to live (that might look impressive) are only possible because God changed this sinner’s heart. I don’t want them to be impressed with me but, instead, enamored by a God who makes living like this possible. When others see me do what is humanly difficult ~ forgiving others, trusting God instead of taking care of things myself, praying instead of worrying, giving grace to someone that doesn’t deserve it ~ these are indications that I am connected to God and something otherworldly is happening here.
When I keep the rules and am proud of it, others notice but are turned off.
When I depend on Jesus to help me do and say what He would do, people see the humility and power of a resurrected Christ.
My witness and impact never starts and ends with me. Amen