All that most people in the world see of Christ is what they see of him in the lives of Christians. If we do not honor him in our relations with others, we fail at the point that really counts.
We who identify ourselves as evangelicals are often guilty of attitudes and behavior totally inconsistent with our Christian profession. Although we strongly assert our concern for the verities of the faith, we too easily show little of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
It is sobering to realize that we can destroy our Christian witness by a careless word or thoughtless action. Our observers may say, “If that is the meaning of being a Christian, I want no part of it.”
One of the pitfalls for the theologically conservative is spiritual pride. Convinced of the facts of our faith, we may forget that it is not orthodoxy that saves but Jesus Christ. We rightly believe the biblical revelation of Christ’s person and work; but we may develop pride in our faith rather than in the saving grace of God.
Another pitfall is the ever present tendency to be Pharisaical, to thank God that we are not as other men. We pat ourselves on the back because we are not guilty of some weakness we see in others or do not have some habit we regard with distaste. Many true Christians are excluded from fellowship by other Christians who regard themselves too highly. Let us beware lest we sin against God and our brothers in this matter. We can reach others only where they are, not where we wish them to be. That was our Lord’s approach and it must be ours. To draw about us the cloak of self-righteousness smothers our witness.
Some years ago a dedicated minister worked for months trying to lead a rather notorious character in his community to the ...1
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