As followers of Christ, we know what we should tell the world. Or at least I hope we do. We must proclaim the gospel. We must speak of the grace and mercy of God. Others need to know that with Christ, there is now hope in this life and the next. Paul reminds us of “how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Rom 10:15). The news of what Christ has done is too good to keep hidden. It must be known.
But I wonder what we show the world? We tell others of their need for Christ, but I wonder if they see in us how much we need Him as well? In his book Get Real: Sharing Your Everyday Faith Every Day, Justin Leonard writes, “we want people to see Jesus in us when it would be so much better if they instead saw someone in need of Jesus.”
I don’t take Leonard’s words to mean that we should abandon Christlikeness. After all, Scripture is clear that we should be conformed to His image (see Rom. 8:29; Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10; 1 Jn 2:6). However, if we are not careful, we can appear as though we have no problems, no worries, or no hassles. And who can live up to that? Could it be that we sometimes try to become “too Christian?”
There is a lot of talk today about authenticity. “You gotta keep it real!” So maybe the world needs to see how human and needy we really are. Do your neighbors know that you struggle sometimes in your marriage? Do those you work with know that you, like that rest of the world, struggle with identity?
In Get Real, Leonard tells a story about a lady who is wanting her sister to become a believer in Christ. Though she continues to witness to her, it appears she never listens. So Leonards asks: “Have you ever considered that the way you present yourself as a Christian might be part of the reason your sister doesn’t believe?” In other words, he writes, “Instead of being a help to your sister, you may be her biggest obstacle to belief because she can never imagine herself believing like the person you want her to believe you are.”
Let’s not stop telling others about Jesus. But let’s also show them our need for Him as well. In humility, let’s be real. And let’s point people to the one in whom we trust to save us from the mess we have made of ourselves.