I am not confrontational. I am a hyperactive, people-loving, tail-tucking golden retriever. I am the first person to notice when you’re sad; I will happily kiss your tears away, try to make you laugh or just be quiet and listen. I will also be the one running along behind you, eating your dust if you ignore me. And, if you kick me on your way out the door, I’m likely to be waiting in the same spot to greet you when you come home.
That said, I’m pretty good at loving people. Let other Christians be bold as lions.
That said, I have been convicted lately of my good-girl testimony. Everyday, as I go out into the world, I hope that my lifestyle declares Jesus Christ. This is good, we are told to live as Christ. But it is not enough. It has been a comfortable lie to live with – just let them SEE Jesus in me.
I was talking to my dear friend Chrissy the other day, whom I regard as one of the boldest evangelists I know. She humbly told me that she is disappointed in herself when she goes into Target, does her thing, and leaves. “I don’t make the very most of every opportunity to proclaim the gospel.” OUCH! If she’s concerned that she doesn’t make Target into an evangelistic opportunity, what have I to boast of in my quiet, good-girl lifestyle?
I listened quietly to the Lord this morning as I prayed. He told me, “Abby, if good behavior is not sufficient to earn salvation, then how is it sufficient to share and explain so great a salvation?”
Today, as I was doing research for Predatory Lies, I was assaulted by a volley lies. These two stung me:
CHRISTIAN! These lies will not be refuted by our good behavior. Love will not stand for the flagrant disregard of God’s moral law.
“Then you will prosper if you are careful to observe the statutes and the rules that the Lord commanded Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Fear not; do not be dismayed.” 1 Chron. 22:13
2 Chron. 32:7 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him.”
At the exact same time, God commands us, “…to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” Titus 3:2
I will be honest. I haven’t replied to either post yet. When I do, I will be a part of the tiniest minority.
This is so hard! I have myriad friends who do not believe as I do. I care deeply for several Muslim people and spend time with them every week. I have had long conversations and shared drinks with women who don’t believe there is a God at all. I have worked with homosexuals and laughed with them and cried with them and had sushi with them. They are wonderful people!
So how to reconcile this in my heart?
Love doesn’t keep the best news to itself. Love doesn’t watch the object of its affection destroy itself or walk off a cliff unknowingly. I am convinced that love must declare the truth.
When I was sick and starving myself to death, the last thing I wanted to hear was my family or counselor constantly reminding me that I was wrong and I needed to change. But would they have loved me if they allowed me to continue deadly behaviors?
How can I keep silent?
Borrowing from another convicted believer, Mike Riley at: The Preacher Files
Yes, preaching God’s truth can, will, and most times offend people. When you offend someone you cause that person discomfort. What more can you ask for? Should we not want to preach that which causes someone to be uncomfortable with their lifestyle of sin? Are we not in the wrong when we allow someone to think that they are okay living the sinful life that they are living (Acts 20:26-27; Romans 6:1,15)?
The Gospel “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). Those who reject the words of our Lord do so out of offense not from the teacher, but out of being offended by the Lord. God commands us to teach and preach nothing more than His word (2 Timothy 4:2). Brethren, if we become the enemy of someone because we adhered to the word of God, so be it!