Brennan Manning's statement from Sunday that I actually heard years ago at the beginning of a DC Talk song still has been ringing in my ears this week. He stated, "The single greatest cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door and deny Him with their lifestyle. This is what the unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”
Remember our key verse is found in Ephesians 5:1, "Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children." The Message puts it this way, "Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with Him and learn a life of love." Watch what He does. All God has done and shown us is His patient, enduring, everlasting sacrifice and love. He will go to great lengths so that others will come to know Him.
How we, who call ourselves His disciples, live out, imitate, watch what He does and responds to others makes a difference. If we are going to help bring others to the transforming power of God then we need to make sure our masks, our hypokritēs are removed. Making sure that we are being honest with God, with ourselves and with others. One of the big problems our world has today with "Christians" is that many are afraid to admit when they are wrong or mess up. And then they try to cover it up pretend it never happened instead of confessing, apologizing and moving forward. We put on the mask, a play actor instead of being honest.
Again, David Kinnaman states, "...followers of Christ as playing the very same mind games that the world is. They perceived us as employing the same tactics as everyone else to preserve an appearance of strength." How often do you have illusion of public virtue, but inwardly you are full of private inconsistencies? If we want to see transformation in the lives of those who do not know Jesus then it first starts with us dropping our play acting and that our walking and talking match up. Proverbs 28:13 reminds us, "Whoever conceals their sins doesn't proper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy."
In closing, you have nothing to fear, when you have nothing to hide. Let us live an un-hypocritical life allowing God to help us drop our masks so that others will see Him.
Looking forward to closing out this series on Sunday! See you soon!
Harvest Community Church of the Nazarene