As we work on getting closer to God and living according to his standards, we do not always realize that our lives are the windows that the world sees Christianity through–we are performers on a stage without even realizing it!
Leading Failing By Example
The worst place we can be as believers is to feel like we are “okay”, as this usually reflects that we are either ignorant of what it means to be holy or we are too lazy to chase after it
Come on, let’s face it, we all stumble, and there will always be areas in our lives that are tougher than others, but if we review our lives, are we really new creations or are we just faking it?
What would our closest Christian and non-Christian friends say about our lives, would they say we radiate the ideals and benefits of Christianity enough to draw them in?
The likely answer, is that even though we have made some progress, we aren’t quite there yet–we have to press on!
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything
2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline
Do We Love Our Friends Enough To Speak To Them About God Through Our Lives?
Jesus spoke in parables so that people could relate to what he was saying, which made his deep philosophical and scriptural points easier to access for everyone–both for believers and non-believers
In this same way, we have the ability to speak to everyone in our lives by the way we conduct ourselves without getting into lofty theological discussions that may turn people off because they are hard to understand
In order to live this way, and this is the most important part, we have to ask ourselves: do we love our friends enough to live in such a way that would bring them to God?
I mean duh, of course right!?
Well, before you go and let the dogs out, remember that this means more than finding the courage to talk to our friends about Jesus, it also means living our lives in a way that honors God in every possible way
Sin Hurts God’s Feelings
Since we are living representations of God’s power, grace, love, and mercy, our lives should reflect both our gratitude and joy for the gift of salvation by living as holy, upright people
This means living as new creations, and having the love for God, and strength, to not do sinful things because they are “cool” and we will feel left out if we don’t follow along, or we just flat out desire to pursue them
Even though we know right from wrong, sometimes it is hard to understand what sin really means in God’s eyes
Imagine it like this:
Jesus laid down his life for us, and in the process was beaten, mocked, and died half-naked on a cross so we could be free from sin and death
But instead of honoring him with our lives and laying down our sins, even as Christians, we decide to turn away from him and say “I want to do this more than I care about your hurting your feelings, sorry dude. You will forgive me afterwards though right? Cool, alright, back in a few!”
Or, think of sin like this:
Imagine if two people were dating, and both were madly in love with each for the first few months, but at some point, for no good reason, one of the people starts to withdraw a little bit and eventually starts flirting with some of their friends that they used to date. One day, their partner finds some romantic text messages from their friends and is completely heartbroken. After being confronted, they breakdown into tears, apologize and promise not do it again, and after more tears, they are forgiven and they stay together. However, a few weeks/days/minutes later, they start sending flirtatious texts to their friends again while sitting right next to their partner on the couch. Their partner sees and begs them not to do it, but, even though they feel guilty about it, they continue anyways
What would you think of a person who did something like that?
Not too cool right?
When we choose sin and ignore God’s spirit and our conscience within us, this is exactly what we are doing–ignoring the pleas of God and ourselves to stop before we do something that will damage our relationship
Is this the kind of life we want to lead, the relationship we want with God, or the example we want to show our friends of Christianity?
We Have The Responsibility Of Being Living Parables!
Are we the people who:
- Built our house on the rock or the sand
- Multiplied the money we were trusted with or did we bury it only to have everything taken from us
- Had our multi-million dollar debt forgiven and yet tormented someone who owed us ten bucks
- Go around with massive planks in our eyes while seeking to remove the splinters from those around us
- Brought enough oil to last through the night or are we the ones who didn’t and got left behind
Hopefully, we are striving to be on the happier sides of all these equations and are not living as the people whom Jesus used as examples of hypocrites and those who did not love God enough to turn away from their old ways!