“For the LORD God is a sun and shield. The LORD gives grace and glory; He does not withhold the good from those who live with integrity. LORD of Hosts, happy is the person who trusts in you!” Psalm 84:11-12 (HCSB)
When you talk about Jesus to others, what are they thinking? When they are not immediately receptive or responsive what do you think is the reason? Theologically we know it has to do with sin and how we are all born blind to the truth. But I want you to consider one other possibility. Is it possible that their disinterest or rejection has more to do with the messenger than the message?
I know you shouldn’t “judge a book by it’s cover” but in many cases, that’s just exactly what happens. If the “cover” communicates a contradictory message than the content within, it is quite likely that the message you are trying to get across may never be heard or understood, much less embraced.
As a former atheist, the one thing that kept me from seriously considering Christ for so long was the hypocrisy of the ones who tried to get me to consider the gospel message. It was hard for me to get past that one thing. I thought to myself at the time that if it didn’t work for them, why would I think it would work for me.
But then I met Bob. He was normal and liked music and sports. He became a good friend. We had similar beliefs. We had been friends for about a year when he dramatically changed one weekend. He now claimed to be a Christian. I tried to look past that fact but he kept bugging me about this change in his life and what caused it. For two years, he bugged me. I brushed him off at first but couldn’t deny that he was different. He still liked music and sports and wanted to hang around. But he wasn’t vulgar or mean or manipulative anymore. He had changed. Eventually I had to consider his message. When I finally did, it changed my life too.
How real is Jesus Christ to you. What kind of difference has He made in your life. Is He your “sun and shield?” Is His “grace and glory” noticeable in your life? The Psalmest said, “LORD of Hosts, happy is the person who trusts in You!” Do others see you as “happy?”
“Fishers of men” need to periodically evaluate how they are packaging the message. If you find anything inconsistent in your life, then ask the Lord to change you. Don’t put on a front. Humbly share the gospel with others. Be quick to admit personal shortcomings and apologize when you are living inconsistently with the message. But don’t let it become a regular excuse. Let God change you. Tell them that you are changing; that you are a work in progress. They’ll appreciate it and perhaps even turn the page to read on….