I recently traveled to Washington D.C. with a coworker for a conference with the Baptist Communicators Association. At this conference there was an awards gala, in which I received a reward for a photograph I took.
While I was excited about the award, the feedback I received has been the most valuable feedback I’ve ever received on a photo I’ve taken.
The judge said about one of the photos that I submitted that did not place, “Always ask yourself if the photo or photos you’re capturing will communicate the story you’re trying to tell without the assistance of a caption.”
This immediately grabbed my attention in a very, “Why haven’t I thought of that before?” kind of way. Of course, as a journalist, I find there is always a story to be told. Also as a journalist, I have been trained to tell such stories in a concise manner. Why shouldn’t my photographs do the same thing?
This principle can be applied to many aspects of life—you know the whole “walk the walk and talk the talk” saying—so I began to think, would people be able to see Jesus in my life “without the assistance of a caption?”
This is a humbling question for almost every Christ follower to ask of themselves. It’s hard for anyone to ever say they have reached the pinnacle of their relationship with the Lord for no other reason than one perfect person has only ever walked this earth, and that was Jesus Christ in the flesh.
What I can do, however, is in all things, point others toward Christ by my actions. Here comes the “walk the walk and talk the talk” saying again. If I am singing songs that say things like:
“And let the King of my heart
Be the wind inside my sails
The anchor in the waves
Oh oh, He is my song
Let the King of my heart
Be the fire inside my veins
The echo of my days
Oh oh, He is my song”
…don’t you think my actions should reflect those words? He should be the fire inside my veins, the echo of my days, and most importantly he should be the King of my heart.
I am guilty of coming up short of my goal to glorify Him in everything I do. I will freely admit that. The only way to combat my shortcomings is to turn to His Word and live as God says I am to live.
He tells us in His Word how we are to live repeatedly. One of my favorite books of the Bible, Proverbs, is full of instruction and guidance in the areas in which we should point others to Christ through our actions. He also directs us toward the ways of the wise in Proverbs.
1 Peter 3:8-9 says, “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
So, I challenge you to think like the judge, who gave me such excellent advice, and ask yourself the question that I was asked about my photos, but instead, ask about your life and how it would point others towards Christ, “Will my life communicate the story of I’m trying to tell without the assistance of a caption?”