“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27 NIV)
I’ve seen on more than one occasion a Tweet or poster on Facebook that people would rather see a sermon than hear one. Now, this doesn’t mean that we should not hear The Gospel, but when we see people living the Gospel, it is far more effective in convincing others to hear what we have to say. And then there are those who know how to “talk the talk, but fail to walk the walk.”
One of the reasons that we are unable to convince people that God is real and salvation is ours, is the fact that what they hear from us and what they see us do is contradictory. We become hypocrites–doing what we urge others not to do.
Most of us–disdain the use of profanity when we hear it from others and are quick to correct or show our disdain, but when we’re upset–are we using the same language we abhor hearing from others? Are they hearing us, too?
We talk about sin and how our lives should be sin-free, but are we living sin-free lives? If we attempt to justify our own sinful behavior, or won’t recognize our behavior is sinful, are we not hypocrites?
Sometimes, if we cannot live the life we proclaim has been given to us–as new creations in Christ Jesus, we should just be quiet and work on ourselves, before we try to work on others. If we were honest with ourselves, the world–those unbelieving and hating Christians, would be thrilled since none of us have reached perfection.
But God would not want us to be silent (even if we aren’t perfect), He would want us to be aware of what we do and make every effort to represent Him in a way that draws others to Him, not drive them away.
Can we do it? We can if our goal is to please Him and not man (family, friends, co-workers, etc.). Watch your conduct--language and behavior–and remember, it is not just what we do in the presence of others that matter, God hears and sees it all.
Father, in the name of Jesus, I humbly ask forgiveness for every incident in which I did not represent You in the presence of others. Lead me by Your Spirit to know at every turn on a daily basis–to know what to say and what to do so others will want to come to know You. Thank You for hearing and answering prayer and loving us enough to give us chance after chance to get living right, for You!