I really can’t stand those television preachers. You know, the ones who smile at you from their expensive suits and tell you God wants to give you stuff. Cars, houses, money, fame. I always thought that was a little weird cause I’ve never read that in the Bible anywhere. What I loathe so much about them is how fake they seem. Then I look at myself in the mirror and realize how fake I can be. Inevitably, we hear of some evangelist or pastor who falls. Or someone we know falls. And we are disappointed, disapproving. We shake our heads and say things like, “These people give Christianity a bad name.”
The thing I’m most convicted about and concerned about is this; what am I doing to turn people away from Christ? What in my life, in your life is giving Jesus a bad name? Not Christianity. Jesus. He is the standard bearer after all. Not your church or denominational label.
In the book or Romans, chapter two, Paul absolutely castigates the Jewish believers in Rome for their hypocrisy. In verse 1, he says, “You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things.” But, later is where it hurts and becomes personal for me. In verse 24 of the same chapter, Paul says this. “No wonder the Scriptures say, ‘The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.’”
How many of us who claim His name has turned someone away from Jesus because of how we live our lives, our judgmental attitudes, our unsolved hypocrisy? Jesus put it this way in Matthew 7: 3-5. “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”
Isn’t it time we began to live our lives differently; with honor, integrity, grace, humility and love? If we claim the name of Christ, things should be different about our lives. It’s not easy for me either and I fail daily.
It might just be time for us to “put our money where our mouth is” in our own lives. It might be time for us to live the truth rather than just talking about it.
You live it. He will speak through you.