Dear friends, this is not about the challenge all of us Christians have to face about these public moments when we need to take a stand for our beliefs instead of hiding or even denying them… we’ve all been there, haven’t we.
And it is hard and we need constant courage and training and we need to grow and learn how to deliver the truth without putting people off and rather make them curious to find out more about it.
What I am writing about today is another aspect of expressing our beliefs though.
I was inspired when 2 people at work last week spoke about someone who told them that they are a Christian and they were so surprised and could hardly believe it.
And then one of them said “when you are a Christian, you shouldn’t have to tell people that, people should be able to see it without you telling them, in your entire life even.”
I couldn’t agree more!
Sadly, the reality is often telling a different tale.
Derek Prince mentioned in many of his talks that if you are new in a town and want to find out which is the best restaurant or in general, where to have the best food, ask the people in church or even the pastor and I must say, I think he was right!
I have not seen as many gluttons as among the Christian congregations I met or was part of, and I can’t even exclude myself, because I, too, like to eat and a lot of my attention and time is going to food… I guess that’s why THE LORD has “prescribed” me many fasts, in fact, ever since I was saved, I have been fasting a LOT.
And I don’t like it and like it at the same time in a way – do you know what I mean?
I mean the flesh simply hates not eating and it is kicking and screaming.
And my spirit knows that it is something which needs to be brought under obedience, the flesh has to be crucified – and it takes years to get rid of lust and gluttony…
Anyhow, that’s just one aspect of it.
You can see anything and with anything I mean anySIN in the life of Christians and in the churches.
Is there any obvious sin in your life everybody can watch and see you commit all the time?
I am not judging you, in fact, I don’t believe any of your Christian brothers and sisters will judge you, because we all know where we came from and that we are ALL sinners and all of us fall short of GOD’s glory and the one and only person EVER ALIVE who never, ever sinned is OUR LORD – we all know this and thus most of us will not sit on a high horse.
But the unbelievers don’t know that.
For them, Christians are arrogant and boring and talking about rules all the time, telling everybody what they can and cannot do.
But do we do it?
Or refrain from doing “it”?
THIS is actually how they will judge us. How they will come to conclusions not only about us, but also about the truth of and in Christianity!
This is how they will make up their mind and take their their decision if they will believe that JESUS is real or not!
And the majority of them will never, ever give us the chance to talk about it or defend our faith or tell them about JESUS or why we believe in HIM.
They will watch us and from what they see, they will decide for themselves if or if not Christianity, JESUS CHRIST and the bible is even worth being given a second thought or some more time to explore it.
WE will be the only JESUS they will ever see, ever meet, ever talk to, ever interact with.
This is a huge responsibility, friends!
Do we have to TELL people that we are Christians so that they will know?
And when we tell them, will it make sense to them or will they be very surprised?
Or are we walking, talking demonstrations of the love and the hope we have?
When they see us and watch us, what do they see?
Do they see someone who is honest, kind, loving, forgiving, healed, whole and has a sound mind?
Do they see someone who has managed to find their place in life, has healthy relationships with others, someone who treats others with respect regardless of their origin, regardless of their deeds, regardless of their social status…?
Can they see our faith?
Is the divine favour on us and our gratitude for is visible for them?
Do they see signs and wonders in our lives or even being performed by us?
Or do they only see a Pharisee when they look at us and our life? Or a hypocrite?
Is what we have, what others can see about us something they want?
Or does it only alienate them?
Surely, some part of our outward projections and of the image we have in other people’s eyes we can’t influence any of it and part of them who see us in our lives will despise us BECAUSE we are Christians, but the ones who are neutral or even open to find out more about us and about what drives us… how can they see JESUS in us, through us?
Without us telling them?
Let us pray for more evidence, for more demonstrations, for more fruit, for more gifts of the spirit, for more righteousness, for more love for others, for more compassion, for more charity, for more forgiveness towards those who have wronged us – not for our own sakes, but that we would be signposts of CHRIST’S LOVE in the world, that we would be the friend they would like to have, that we would live the life they would like to live for HIM, for HIS glory, to increase HIS kingdom and to draw more and more people home to HIM.
Let us be living examples, not just witnesses, because many people will not even give us a chance to witness, but will judge us from afar – let’s give them something to think about and to talk about and to judge – in a good way, let’s show them something they, too, want!
I hope an pray that this will inspire and bless you and that THE LORD will bless you richly in all areas of your life and that HE will keep you and make HIS face shine upon you. And bring you PEACE. In JESUS’ name I pray. Amen.