1996-07-31 - Authenticity
Originally Published 1996-05-01I also want to share with you something that happened to me last weekend. This will be the Readers Digest version. I played golf Sunday with a man who is a Christian and another man that I have been sharing Christ with for a few years. The man that I have been witnessing to is very skeptical of "Christians". He claims Christians are hypocrites, etc. So, I thought this golf outing would be a great way for him to be around another Christian to see the authenticity of Christ in this person. By the third hole the "Christian" man was telling off-color jokes and putting his wife down. I know God was grieved by this, and all the years of progress that have been made trying to show the other man Christ, were suddenly taken away be this one incidence.
James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (NIV)
The Bible Knowledge Commentary: It is not sufficient, however, to receive the Word; one must respond to it in active obedience. The command is clear, Do not merely listen to the Word. Do what it says. One must "become," or "keep on becoming", a doer of the Word and not just a hearer.
Is there a gap in an area in your life between what you say and what you actually do? Are you deceiving yourself? I have some areas that constantly need maturing in Christ. My biggest concern is the effect we Christians have on those around us who are seekers, those who may be standing on the edge on Christianity looking in. These folks are all around you in the marketplace, in schools, in recreational areas, in homes, and even in the church. They are watching you. They are examining the Christian Life. Are we confusing them? Are we hurting the cause of Christ by merely listening to the word and not being doers of the word? Are we giving them a reason not to take that step of faith to accept Christ?
For further study read Matthew 23, Mark 7:1-23 and Luke 11:37-54
Dear Father, examine my heart, show me Lord where I am not authentic, show me Lord if I am merely being a hearer of your word and not a doer. Give me the maturity I need to be more authentic and set an example for those around me who may be searching for you. I know I will slip sometimes, forgive me Lord and help me to grow during those times. Father help me to advance the cause of Christ. Help me to be the person you intended for me to be. I pray that those around me can see the love of Christ in me Lord. I pray that they will want to have that same Love that is available to them through your Son Jesus Christ, our Savior. In Jesus' precious name I pray, Amen.
Peace and love,