The Christian Service Brigade (CSB) motto is “Bright and Keen for Christ”. At face value, I would suppose that CSB members are passionate (on fire or “brightly glowing”) and engaged in learning about Christ’s own ministry and His redemptive death and resurrection that provides a means of salvation to those who believe.
So is this initial impression correct and complete? How do I live this motto, pledge or promise in my daily life? What does it look like to live as a man who is bright and keen for Christ?
I’ve always found that authors choose words very specifically since they carry meaning. I went to several online dictionaries and looked at the variations of meaning for “bright” and “keen”. I also looked at synonyms – words that have similar or parallel meaning.
- Producing a lot of light : filled with light
- able to learn things quickly
- intelligent, clever
A person who is “bright for Christ” would be someone who is illuminated (producing light, figuratively) by their learning about Christ. They are lively and cheerful because the message of Christ delivered hope, love and a means of reconciling ourselves with God by His grace and willingness to accept Christ’s death and resurrection as a mechanism to cover our rebellion and sin. Our consistent pursuit of this knowledge, documented in the Bible produces intelligence and cleverness about spiritual things – ways to live our lives in harmony instead of conflict with God.
Because of Christ’s ministry to the world brings us such great hope and care for others, we want to shine, beam, broadcast that message to everyone around us. We don’t want anyone to miss out on that wonderful account of what Christ accomplished on our behalf – while we were still sinners and undeserving of such love. When we really work at modeling (following, imitating) Christ in our lives we’d be noticed by others – our “brightness” calls attention to those who are still in the darkness of their own despair and suffering.
- having or showing eagerness or enthusiasm
- having or showing an ability to think clearly and to understand what is not obvious or simple about something
- having a fine edge or point
- intellectually alert : having or characteristic of a quick penetrating mind
- extremely sensitive in perception <keeneyes>
|Synonyms: eager, anxious, intent, impatient, determined, ambitious, champing at the bit;|
A person who is “keen for Christ” would demonstrate a high level of enthusiasm, be finely focused, and be hungry to learn more about Christ – His ministry, personality, leadership style, and more.
I especially liked the definition that includes “extremely sensitive in perception (having keen eyes)” This reminds me that a person who is keen for Christ would be discerning or discriminating about how they view the world and how they evaluate day to day choices. I could easily imagine this person weighing the value of their free time choices by asking “what would Christ want me to be doing right now?”
I don’t think I’ve got the “whole” answer to what it means to be “Bright and Keen for Christ” but I do think this is a fair start. Being bright and keen for Christ is something that we have to work at and be dedicated to pursuing. I don’t think it is something we turn on and off like a light switch (being Christ-like on Sunday mornings and at our CSB meetings) but something that builds over time if we make it a priority in our lives.
Some ways to build up our brightness and keen-ness might include:
- read the Bible (if you’re not sure where to start, there are devotional guides and reading plans that can help) (Ps 119:105; 2 Tim 3:16; Joshua 1:8)
- join a bible study that meets at a convenient time and be committed to attending, doing the homework, etc. (Ps 119:11; Dt 6:6-7; 1 Pet 3:15; Ps 1:2; Proverbs 4:20; 1 Tim 4:13)
- build a circle of friends who have the same goals and share your concerns with them (Philippians 2:4; 2 Cor 6:14-18; Heb 10:25; 2 Thess 3:6)
- pray about your life and pray about other people’s needs or concerns (1 Jn 5:14; 1 Tim 2:1; Eph 6:18; Jn 15:7; James 5:13; Philippians 4:6, etc.)
- serve those in need (James 2:18; 1 Pet 4:9-10; Heb 13:2; Rom 12:13; Gal 5:13; Matthew 20:26-28; Eph 4:28)
- Do you think you live this motto consistently from day to day? If yes, how do you know? If no, how come?
- Do you think about being “bright and keen” each morning, and how you can be more like Christ this day?
- Have you ever had a friend or stranger ask you about your faith, or cheerfulness, or self-less service to others (or any lifestyle that might mark you as being bright and keen for Christ)? If yes, what was that like?