I overheard a co-worker last week tell a story to another co-worker, and it went something like this:
A friend of mine was telling me that his neighbor shoveled his walk and driveway, and when my friend said he appreciated him doing that the neighbor commented that he was a Christian. Why couldn’t he just say he was being a good neighbor? Why did he have to say he was a Christian? What happened to just being a good neighbor?
I heard the little tale and felt bad that this co-worker was getting a bad taste in his mouth toward Christians because of what happened with his friend. I’m sure the neighbor meant well, both in helping shovel the snow for his neighbor and in giving God the glory for that. But if people aren’t in a place to receive that it can do more harm than good, perhaps.
I’m not saying we should be ashamed of our faith and not mention it, but I think proper context is important to keep in mind. God’s word teaches deeds like shoveling a neighbor’s snowy driveway when he says, “Love your neighbor.” But there’s no follow-up verse that says, “And make sure and tell ’em I (G0d) sent ya!”
In which scenario does God get more glory — if a Christian proudly boasts about what they’re doing for Him or if we love and serve people like He commanded and let others wonder and inquire about it themselves? If there’s something different about us because of our faith in God, people will know it without us having to point it out to them.