Last week, I shared a couple things that have been on my heart lately…things that I’ve learned can completely twist our testimony and hurt our relationship with Jesus.
I’ve struggled with all of these things, and I hope that, if you have too, these posts are helpful and encouraging to you. 🙂
So, here are two more things we have to watch out for…
3) Sending mixed signals to the world
I think it’s human nature to wanna blend in with everyone around us. But when we’re following Jesus, we’re supposed to do exactly the opposite. Not just because He said so. Not because we’re in bondage to a list of rules to gain His favor. But because we love Him and want to reflect who He is: Gracious. Pure. Holy. Self-sacrificing.
The word “Christian” literally means “little Christ”…kinda daunting, huh?
Can people around us tell that we belong to Jesus, or do we look and act like we’ve never met Him? Are we confusing people by claiming Christ but acting like the world?
I used to think being a follower of Jesus was pretty cut and dry. That hypocrisy isn’t even an option. But we’re human and we fail. And being a hypocrite is one of the easiest things in the world to do. It scares me to death that I could become one, so I’ve been mulling over some questions to keep myself in check. Maybe they’ll help you too…
- Are my words or implications inappropriate, or are they honest and pure?
In other words, could someone be confused when I say I love Jesus, or is my love for Him reflected in what I say (or don’t say)?
–> James 3:3-5, 1 Peter 3:10, Proverbs 4:24 Philippians 4:8
- Am I dressing modestly, or dressing to be seen?
Am I focused on keeping up with trends no matter what, or hoping others will notice my body? Or do I respect myself and guard my testimony by being careful with what I put on?
Modesty is a tough topic these days, and I totally get it if you feel uncomfortable talking about it. I do too. But friend, dressing carefully is so important, and it impacts us and those around us more than we think! If you want to dig into this topic a little more, just hop over to this post. 🙂
–> Ephesians 2:10, 2 Timothy 2:9
- Do I really value what God has to say, or is my Bible just an accessory?
Yeah, ouch. I quiver a little to think that I could be just like the Pharisees if I’m not careful: carrying my Bible around and quoting every verse but not giving a hoot about what it says. Or worse…I don’t want to be clueless about what God has to say to me!
The Bible is God’s love letter to us for us to get to know Him, and that’s why it’s so important to read it! We can’t claim to know Him but only read some verses on Pinterest here and there. We can’t be scared of the tricky or convicting passages. To live like Jesus and attract people to Jesus, we have to pay attention to what He says and have a committed relationship with Him. ❤
–> Matthew 23:1-11, Acts 17:11, Luke 10:27, 2 Timothy 3:16
- Do I invest my time in the right places, or should I avoid certain hangouts?
- Am I selfless and meek, or self-centered and immature?
- Do I respect and support the guys around me, or do I put them down? Am I friendly or flirtatious and unattractive?
–> 1 Peter 3:4, Proverbs 31:30
Maybe some other things came to your mind, too. But isn’t it so easy to overlook those things? Some are more harmless than others, but in every area of our lives, we have to be discerning. Jesus called us the salt of the earth–a preservative. We can’t preserve the world from deteriorating if we let ourselves get washed away with it.
4) Overlooking the gospel
The gospel isn’t just a message for unbelievers. It’s a lifeline for believers.
My sweet friend Emily from marriedmyrick.com is one of the most gospel-passionate people I know, and I love her to pieces for it. We’ve had some of the richest conversations together, and in every topic we tackle, she always drives home the same question: “Am I looking at this problem or situation through a gospel lens?”
Emily has shown me how absolutely crucial it is to keep the gospel at the center of our lives. Everything we do should be rooted in an understanding and love for the gospel. God so beautifully wove the message of salvation throughout the entire Bible; like the glue that holds every passage together…the glue that holds our lives together.
If we’re not focused on the gospel–salvation by God’s sovereign, reckless grace (Ephesians 2:8-9)…we’ll end up twisting and complicating things that shouldn’t be tampered with. We could fall into legalism, a rut in our walk with Jesus, or, worst of all, not even care about sharing Jesus with others.
The other day, my dad’s doctor said something to him that blew my mind. “I still remember our first conversation, 4 years ago. You asked me if I know Jesus, and you explained to me that He died, was buried, and rose again so I could have eternal life with Him.”
If that isn’t convicting…!
I don’t want carelessness for the gospel or fear of what others think to keep me from sharing the way out of eternal hell. I want to be so in love with Jesus and what He did for me that I’m bursting at the seams to share the gospel. It’s so simple…yet it’s completely revolutionized history. I want a part in that.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16, ESV).
I hope these past two posts have helped you think a little more like they have me. If you have anything to add, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! ❤