It matters what the world thinks about us, because we’re supposed to be their salt and light.

In 1 Timothy 3:7, Paul says that one of the qualifications for a church leader is that “he have a good reputation with outsiders.”

What this doesn’t mean is that we bend to their standards.

But what it does mean is that if we follow God and his holiness, God’s standards will make a positive impression on the world.

We saw a giant case study for this a few centuries back. And it went over amazingly well. The founders of the United States were a collection of men influenced by the Gospel.

Many of them were not true followers (Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, to name two). But, yet, our laws–and even our currency–saw its influence.

Here’s the point: the way we reach the world is by first getting our stuff right on the inside. When we do that, it has a way of bleeding out and influencing those around us.

The gospel isn’t about coercion.

It’s about influence.

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