“…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (v. 16)
The world is dark, so if Christians are the light of the world (v. 14), we are going to stand out. We must live lives of noticeable piety so that God will be glorified by what we do in his name.
Our piety must have “right-wing” and “left-wing” virtues. James 1:27 says “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” As Christians, we cannot be against everything. We need to be for something–for the orphans and widows in affliction. That’s the “left-wing.” But we must be for more than the hurting or oppressed. We must also be for righteousness and moral purity. That’s the right wing. We need both if we are going to fly.
No matter our particular passion, we must keep our conduct honorable, so that even when we are spoken against as too soft or too intolerant, others will see our good deeds and glorify God (1 Peter 2:12). When we live God’s way no matter the cost, it shows to the world that God is more valuable to us than privilege or prestige, which brings him great glory.