Read Romans 2:17-29
Giving God A Bad Name
“As it is written: ‘God’s name is blasphemed among
the Gentiles because of you.’”
Digging Deeper: A family-values senator is found out to have kept the company of female “escorts.” A high profile evangelical leader is exposed for visiting a male prostitute. The divorce rate among church-goers is nearly the same rate as non church-goers. Believers are said to blend in ethically with just about everyone else in the workplace.
And we wonder why non-Christians tag us as hypocrites and despise our God!
It is so easy to get caught up in the culture wars and the Christian political movement and every other cause that bashes the evil practices and mindset of this world. To be sure, there is nothing necessarily wrong with being outspoken about your spiritual values. However, we would do God and the Good News we represent a big favor if we would clean up our act first.
Jesus had some pretty pointed things to say about that:
“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.” (Matthew 7:1-5)
How about this: First try living what you say you believe, then you can talk! Make sure your beliefs match your behavior. Don’t just mindlessly parrot, “what would Jesus do?”—do it! Live it from the core of who you are.
We may not win the whole world for Christ, but we’d be a lot more effective than we are now. And perhaps we’d convince a few folks that this Good News is a pretty good deal.
“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”
~St. Francis of Assisi