We were in Orlando this past weekend for our now annual “Night of Joy” trip (I’ll post pictures later…maybe…I historically haven’t been very good about posting pics) and I was reminded of the following quote.
“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” - Brennan Manning
As we were standing there listening to Jars of Clay, a lady in front of us was chewing out a Disney employee because he wouldn’t let her go past a certain point (crowd control). She was using hand motions, yelling and using very mean angry words...the whole 9 yards. I was just so frustrated as I stood there watching the event unfold.
Now, I know that at a Christian concert not everyone is saved and I also know that even when you are saved anger is still very real. Satan knows our weaknesses. But it was just a reminder to me, and very convicting, that those of us who are saved, need to place our lives and our actions in His hands every single day. We have to continually pray that He will use our actions and our words to bring Him glory because people are watching.
I say all this not to point fingers at this lady and say she must not be saved. I have no clue about her relationship with the Lord, that is between her and the Lord. What I do mean to point out in all of this is that the world is watching each and every one of us. Watching how we live our lives. Watching how we react in difficult situations. Watching the words that come out of our mouths. And what do they learn if professing born again Christians act just like the world?
We all sin. There is only one perfect person who ever walked this earth, Jesus, in case you didn’t know :); however we are supposed to imitate Him. To strive to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to Him. The Bible says…
1 Corinthians 11:1 “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.”
1 Thessalonians 1:6 “And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, when you received the message with joy that comes from the Holy Spirit, despite great affliction.”
Philippians 3:17-18 “Be imitators of me, brothers and sisters, and watch carefully those who are living this way, just as you have us as an example. For many live (about whom I often told you, and now say even with tears) as enemies of the cross of Christ.”
1 Timothy 4:11-16 “Command and teach these things. Let no one look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in your speech, conduct, love, faithfulness, and purity. Until I come, give attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the spiritual gift you have, given to you and confirmed by prophetic words when the elders laid hands on you. Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that everyone will see your progress. Be conscientious about how you live and what you teach. Persevere in this, because by doing so you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.”
Ephesians 5:1-2 “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
1 John 2:4-6 “Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”
Romans 12: 2 - "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
1 Peter 2:12 - "Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us."
What do unbelievers (and believers alike) see when they watch you live your life?