Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sabotaging a witness
by John Fischer

A lot of Christians stay relatively quiet about their faith when in the company of those who don’t know Christ. There are probably lots of reasons for this, but the one I hear most frequently is the feeling of not being good enough. “Who am I to tell someone about Jesus,” the rationale goes, “when my own life is in such a mess?”

There is an improper assumption that goes along with this kind of thinking, that in order to witness for Christ you have to have a close to impeccable life. There’s a certain standard one has to live up to before being in a position to tell someone about Jesus. Otherwise, people will point the finger at you and spot your own inconsistencies.

The absurdity in this kind of thinking is the fact that no one, not even Christians, will ever have it all together in this life. Instead of being an excuse not to witness, the fact that we aren’t good enough should be the whole point. We tell people about Jesus because we know, better than anyone, how much we need him. When people throw our own inconsistencies up in our faces that is just another opportunity to tell our own story of how Christ has forgiven us on the cross and how much we need his salvation every day. So instead of being a threat to our witness, our faults and shortcomings are the very things upon which our witness hangs. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t need Jesus.

When I think of the essence of our statement as Christians to those who don’t know Christ, I always think of the blind man that Jesus healed by covering his eyes with mud and telling him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. (John 9:1-34) When the Jewish religious leaders got wind of it, they started to question the man extensively – wanting to know who healed him, how it happened, where the man who healed him was now, and even asking his parents to verify whether their son was in fact born blind. When they came back to the man and pressed him with questions a second time, accusing Jesus of being a sinner for doing work on the Sabbath, the man replied, “I don’t know whether he is a sinner … But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!” (John 9:25 NLT)

There’s our message: “I was blind, and now I can see; I was lost, and now I am found; I was guilty, and now I’m forgiven; I was alone, and now I have a friend.” It doesn’t take a perfect life to spread that message – just a saved one. So what’s keeping you from telling your story?

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