I just love our Sunday School class at church. There are so many people in our class who inspire me and encourage me and challenge me. Recently, one of the guys was leading class and he asked the question "If there was a law passed in our country that forbade Christianity, would anyone arrest you based on the way you live?"
Talk about making you think.
As believers, we are called to live a life worthy of our calling--to be bold and to take the good news of Jesus Christ to the world. That's our main purpose here on Earth--to share his love and to make Him known to others. Somehow, though, I think that the meaning of being a Christian has been horribly distorted. Many people claim to be Christians, yet they believe it to just be a private matter, one that they "hold in their heart" but don't really want to share with others because after all, we wouldn't want to impose our beliefs on anyone, right?
Wrong, friends. Sharing should be the core of every believer's daily walk. (Imposing, no. Sharing, yes.) Now, I will be the first to admit that I am NOT as bold as I would like to be. I am not as fearless about sharing the gospel as I would like to be. I honestly can say that I know that my life does not always reflect the beauty of my Savior. Would someone know to arrest me if Christianity were made illegal? I certainly would hope so, but...would they?
When I was in college and doing evangelism training, our motto was "first time, every time" meaning that every time you meet someone new, you want to make sure that they are able to experience your love for Jesus the very first time you meet them. That doesn't necessarily mean, of course, that you have to preach the entire story of the Bible to them the first time you ever talk, but what it does mean is that they would leave you knowing that Christ is your first love and hopefully they'll want to know more. Do I do that? Do I make my love for Christ known every single time I encounter someone?
What I'm not saying is that we need to be out on street corners shouting into microphones or telling people that they're going to Hell because of their life choices or looking down on those who don't yet know Jesus--none of us saved ourselves, remember. Jesus approached people with love and compassion and patience, never forcing anyone to love Him, but gently guiding them to himself by speaking truth and being a true friend. I believe that different situations call for different approaches to sharing your love for Christ--that you have to be aware of your audience and that spitting off Bible verse after Bible verse to someone who just needs to cry or just needs you to listen for a moment is not always the best approach. (Sometimes people just need to have someone listen to them.) But I will say that there is a way to make Christ known to people in every situation, to share truth and wisdom without being obnoxious or judgmental, and that is what God calls us to do.
This week, I'm going to be looking at my life with a more critical eye--praying that God will use his Holy Spirit to show me how I can make Him more known through my interactions with others. We've only got a few days here (in the light of how long eternity is), and I want the people I encounter to know what a joy and peace it is to get to be free, and some day to be right there in heaven together, praising God all the day long. I hope you'll join me.