Christian, What are You’re Neighbors Saying About You?
This morning our church hit chapter 4 in our study of Colossians & reflected on how our CONDUCT relates to God’s mission. Our conduct is simply the way we live and this verse reminds us that the way we live can be a witness to the Gospel. So we must be mindful of others spiritual condition, be mindful of our attitude & behavior, & look for opportunities to serve others. People outside of the faith will be very important to true Christians, because our mission involves spreading the Christ-message to others (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8, Colossians 1:28-29).
A few weeks ago Thom Rainer shared some research on common comments non-Christians say about Christians that are instructive when considering our conduct & witness.
- Christians are against more things than they are for. “It just seems to me that Christians are mad at the world and mad at each other. They are so negative that they seem unhappy. I have no desire to be like them and stay upset all the time.”
- I would like to develop a friendship with a Christian. “I’m really interested in what they believe and how they carry out their beliefs. I wish I could find a Christian that would be willing to spend some time with me.”
- I would like to learn about the Bible from a Christian. “The Bible really fascinates me, but I don’t want to go to a stuffy and legalistic church to learn about it. I would be nice if a Christian invited me to study the Bible in his home or at a place like Starbucks.”
- I don’t see much difference in the way Christians live compared to others. “I really can’t tell what a Christian believes because he doesn’t seem much different than other people I know. The only exception would be Mormons. They really seem to take their beliefs seriously.”
- I wish I could learn to be a better husband, wife, dad, mom, etc., from a Christian.“My wife is threatening to divorce me, and I think she means it this time. My neighbor is a Christian, and he seems to have it together. I am swallowing my pride and asking him to help me.”
- Some Christians try to act like they have no problems. “Harriett works in my department. She is one of those Christians who seem to have a mask on. I would respect her more if she didn’t put on such an act. I know better.”
- I wish a Christian would take me to his or her church. “I really would like to visit a church, but I’m not particularly comfortable going by myself. What is weird is that I am 32-years old, and I’ve never had a Christian invite me to church in my entire life.”
Are there people in your community saying this about you? How could you change their perception? How could you engage them? Anything surprising? Are you ready to answer the questions of outsiders? If not, why?
Next time: Why CONDUCT is good, but not a complete witness toward others…