One of the greatest barriers to me coming to Christ and accepting him as my Lrd and Saviour were, ironically enough, Christians.
If I become a Christian will I have to look like them?
The thought haunted me. They were cheesy, nowhere people; awkward, geeky, and completely unhip. They would witness to me in college, pick me up hitchhiking with syrupy music playing on the 8-tracks, all with perfect with shirts tucked in and hair in all the right places. And they eyed me through slitty driven eyes as if I was a goldfish in a oscar tank.
Gag me with a spoon.
I knew their game - and often deflected it by speaking their language so I wouldn’t be the object of their dragon teeth.
“Praise the Lord!” They’s say.
“Indeed. Praise Jesus,” I’d reply. “Isn’t he wonderful. Tell me, what has he been doing in your life.”
“What? Are you a Christian?” seemingly surprised.
“Of course, brother. Jesus is one righteous dude.”
And so it went - anything to keep them at arms length.
But every once in a while a follower of Jesus shared with me the Good News of the Gospel and I knewit was real. I know now it was the Spirit within him or her that was at work, but at the time all I sensed was how cool they were with one underlying thought, I want to be like them.
As time went on, I discovered that these guy really didn’t have an agenda, no contest for who could get enough bullets on their belt, no new years' resolutions to save so many souls before Christmas. They were just authentic people, doing life, with the love of God pouring out their hearts into just about everything they did.
And it took.
They had other characteristics, too - which I’ll share in the next BLOG. But the point here is that authentically doing life with Jesus speaks far louder than a program, literature, or even street witnessing with a megaphone. When people on the other side see us being who we are in Christ, they will see him.
This doesn’t take away from our mission to win the world for Jesus. It only makes it real, as we are real. For now make it your business to be real, listen deeply, genuinely from the heart - as if they were the most important person in the world. They will hear that, see that, sense that.
And when they ask you what the hope is that makes you different and sets you apart from the rest of their friends, you will have the answer.
Father make me real in the power of your Incarnation. Radiate through me when I know it not, lest I be distracted from your love for those whom you have placed me before. Amen