“Carry the Light-Giving Message” – Dr. Janet Dean

November 14, 2016

“Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing.” – Philippians 2: 14-16 (The Message)

Ten years ago, one of my old high school friends stood up to present an alumni achievement award to me.  Back in the day, we hung out in the same group of friends and shared a lot of experiences, but we were never close and hadn’t talked in 15 years.  What would she say? 

After telling a few funny high school tales, she turned to a story about our running into each other on our university campus, an encounter I still don’t remember.  She recalled noting a significant difference in me from high school, commenting on it, and being awed by my response.  Apparently, I had given all the credit to God, and I did so with such joy, peace, and confidence that she was deeply moved by that encounter and has never forgotten it. 

She subsequently has become a professing Christian, and she and her family are actively engaged in their church and living life according to their faith.  I don’t know if my brief testimony played any role in her faith journey, but I do know that she remembers that encounter and holds it dear, and I praise God that, by His grace, my witness in that moment revealed Him and only Him. 

This was a reminder for me – and hopefully for you – that we never know when we will be called upon to witness to God – or the effect our testimony may have.  My testimony is not always as pure and true as it must have been in this brief encounter, so let’s pray that God will help each of us be a reliable witness of His wondrous grace.


- Dr. Janet Dean, Associate Professor of Psychology

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