Recently I’ve been challenged about how I live my life as a Christian. Questions that I’ve particularly been thinking about are; ‘How would people know I was a Christian?’, ‘Do I demonstrate this in my life?’, ‘Do I reflect Jesus?’ etc.
Tonight at Chapel we looked at a passage from [Romans 15:14-21] and this idea was running through my head once again. How do we show that we are Christians to people that don’t know us, and also to people that don’t know God? In vs. 20, Paul says “It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation.” This made me think about my life – where in my life is a place where Christ is not known? and how can I share the gospel with those people? or more importantly, am I sharing the gospel with those people?
In 1 John it talks about how people know that we are Christians by the way that we love one another. But sometimes I don’t think we truly reflect Christ in our relationships. Sometimes we get caught up in cliques, gossip, ‘bitching’, etc. and to those on the outside, that doesn’t show anything different from a non-Christian lifestyle!
Dot, Calum, Robert and I also focused on what it meant to share the gospel in both word and deed. What does that mean for us? I stumbled across a quote that sums it up quite nicely:
“The most effective preaching comes from those who embody the things they are saying. They are their message… Christians need to look like what they are talking about…” (John Poulton)
It is about ‘walking the walk’, as much as it is about ‘talking the talk’. We may say that we are a Christian, and talk about what it is that “makes up” a Christian, but do our lives reflect that? What good is it, talking to someone about how you are a Christian, sharing how it shapes and changes your life, if you then go out and get really drunk, or behave in a way that is not in line with the ‘Christianity’ you are talking about, which you are a part of for example? It is about becoming more like Christ in everything that we do. Its about putting God at the centre of all that we do and all that we are and making our whole lives an act of worship to Him. It’s all about word and deed going hand-in-hand.
So where are the areas in your lives where Christ is not known? and are you sharing him in those areas? Do our lives reflect the God that we love and the God that loves us and has changed (and continues to change) our lives? It is about helping and showing those people the God that believes in them, even if they don’t necessarily believe in Him…