Basil may have been better known for his charity work. He built what many consider to be the first hospital, a complex known as the Basiliad. It had room for more than 300 patients. There was a special ward for those with leprosy. There were rooms for travelers and a section for orphans. The poor could come and eat at a soup kitchen on the grounds of the Basiliad.
The project was funded by wealthy Christians… including the very Emperor that tried to exile Basil. The ruler disagreed with Basil on doctrine, but couldn't argue with the things he saw Basil was doing.
Gregory of Nazianzus, Archbishop of Constantinople, said about Basil: "His words were like thunder because his life was like lightning."
Sounds like something Jesus said to his followers:
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)
Don't just talk about being a Christian; live like one! Live in such a way that you won't have to tell people that you're a Christian; they'll be able to see it for themselves.
The world has seen enough Christians who are all thunder, with no lightning. Christians who just talk about their faith and don't live it make non-believers turn away from God. We should live the kinds of lives that will make people praise God.
When we shine our light before men, we will be able to talk to them about Jesus. What we say will carry weight when they are backed up by deeds. Our words will be like thunder when our lives are like lightning.