Bold, Honest and True
How important to you is it to be liked? To be heard? To be appreciated?
I know that my frail ‘humanness’ comes centre stage when I stand face to face with my answer to those questions. Of course I want to be liked. Who doesn’t? We’re human after all. I know for me though, that sometimes the heart behind those emotions is neither healthy, nor realistic.
The truth of the matter is that when we, as believers want to be liked by people more than we want to please God, things get messy.
Jesus said it Himself – “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.” (Luke 6:26) The false prophets didn’t preach Jesus, they preached what people wanted to hear. Messages which would flatter the ears of the listener and let everyone go home feeling good about themselves.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is SUCH good news... but it's offensive. (See 1 Corinthians 1:18) People who don’t believe want to know that they can save themselves, or at least that another person or thing can. Salvation is in Christ alone – that’s pretty drastic statement. There’s no grey and there’s not meant to be. The Gospel is pretty black and white.
So what do we do with that? Do we refrain from talking about Jesus because we want to keep the peace? I know I have sometimes. Now, this post isn’t here to make us all feel a bit guilty about not being, saying or doing enough. You are loved and cherished forever by a Holy and perfect God. I’m also not suggesting that we go out with a megaphone and start shouting at people demanding that they believe in Jesus ‘or else’. Chances are, that won’t work too well.
The Gospel is confrontational, yes, but that doesn’t mean we have to be.
In Acts 17, Paul is ministering in various places. He doesn’t get in people’s faces with anger and rage, he simply has conversations. From Thessalonica to Athens there is one common thread. Some people hear what Paul has to say about Jesus and believe right there and then on the spot. Some listen and want to hear a bit more. Others are violently offended and want him locked up and kept quiet.
In that regard, nothing’s changed really. If you speak about Jesus today, there might still be one or two people who want you locked up! Some might have their interest awoken and others might come to know the King of kings who gave them their very breath… Imagine that!
The thing holding so many people back from knowing Jesus is the fact they’ve never been introduced to Him.
So, as I challenge you, I challenge myself. Will we be brave enough to decide that people coming to know Jesus is more important than them liking us?
Let’s be bold, honest and true with our words and with our lives, no matter what!