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December 3, 2013

Blending In

My eight year old son recently expressed an interest in deer hunting with me some this season, something I have been patiently waiting for him to ask me for some time, but did not want to push him too much or too soon. I quickly realized that I needed to acquire some adequate clothing for him to wear during those late season deer drives. Now, on most of these hunts, he could probably get away with just his winter coat, heavy pants and basic shoes, but there's always the chance that he would stand out and be spotted by approaching wildlife. So I needed to come up with some clothing that was not only warm, but that was also camouflaged. Having not purchased any hunting clothes for myself in a while, I was reminded while scanning the outdoor store websites of how many different shades, tones and variations of camouflage clothing there are out there today - Advantage, All-Purpose, Hardwoods, Break Up, Bottomland, Obsession, Duck Blind, Tree Stand, and Max-4 for starters. Companies that research, design and develop camouflage patterns do a fantastic job of making people disappear. There is nothing like quality camouflage hunting clothes. They are helpful, functional, and they have even been made decorative in today's culture.

Matthew 5:14-16 (NASB)
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

There is a type of camouflage, though, that is not effective at all - the camouflage that Christians put on in order to go unnoticed, to blend in to their surroundings and not draw attention to themselves or their faith. Oftentimes we are afraid of being recognized and ridiculed for being a Christian so we hide our faith, and do not tell anybody about what Jesus has done for us. In fact, some become so good at blending in that it actually surprises people when they find out that we are Christians. That is not a good feeling to have, and how sad a testimony to our Savior this is. God's desire is that we make it our purpose to not blend in or be timid, but rather, lean on the Holy Spirit to help us overcome our fears, stand out and be bold.

What does it mean to stand out like a light on a hill? It means to make sure those around you see and hear what Jesus has done in your life and can do in their lives. One of the main ways to tell others about Jesus is by the way that you live. Others will notice the remarkable things God has given you, like joy, love and peace. They will wonder why your life is different from theirs. They will see how you rely on God to help you stay away from sin and live a life that honors Him.

There are life-changing spiritual encounters with others that God has planned for each of us, but these will not come to pass as long as we choose to blend in with the world and go unnoticed. Avoid being a camouflaged Christian - make a decision today to speak up, share your faith, and be attentive to the needs of others. - GE

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