“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
We love to wear crosses on our neck, hats etched with religious clichés, and bumper stickers on our cars. We like to use the lingo that lets everyone know we’re church folk and get tattoos of praying hands and Bible verses. We have all these overt ways to announce our relationship with Christ.
Be careful about touting your faith.
It’s not about being afraid to wear the name of Christ. That’s all fine. But beware, because you are asking to be tested, to be persecuted, to be held to a different standard.
Your public profession of faith once created allegiance. Surely, there were other Christians who would see your “Too Blessed to Be Stressed” mug and hold you in high regard. Right?
These days, though, your connection to Christ is a cause for scrutiny.
The best way to announce your Christianity is through your behavior and interaction with others. Be just as quick to make sure people see the God in you as you are to tell them. Because in many cases, when the proclamation comes before the example, it becomes even harder to live up to the proclamation.
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
– John 13:35
I just watched a man get yanked off the pedestal he put himself on when he readily announced he was a gospel preacher in a secular audience. But while he was praised by likeminded folks for always bringing up God, and always being ready to pull out a scripture, he illuminated the ways he fell short of standard he set.
It cost him his job. Because in the end, he wound up being not as humble and loving as you’d expect from someone who talked God so much. He wasn’t as easy to get along with and didn’t operate with the security and peace you’d expect from someone who purports to be so close to God.
The opportunities to talk about God will come. To share the Word. To talk about church. To mention Jesus. But it is much more wise this day and age, to be aggressive about showing your connection with Christ through action. Be a bringer of piece. Be generous. Be understanding and forgiving. Be known as the one who never has a problem with anyone, who always seems to be having a good day.
Again, it’s not about denying Christ. It’s not about being reluctant to claim him publicly. It is about strategically positioning yourself in the world to be a true representative for the Kingdom. It’s about exemplifying the presence of Christ in your life to the point you won’t have to say it.
People nowadays expect Christians to be hypocrites. They look to prey on weaknesses and pounce on the mistakes of people who claim Jesus. Especially if your faith is not ready to handle that kind of pressure, focus on letting your life do most of your talking.