Powerfully Bold or Merely Obnoxious?


If we love Christ, and if God's Word is our authority, then how we treat others should be shaped by Scripture.

The woman at the table beside me was loud in her slam. "No thank you, I'm a Christian!" The waiter looked a little stunned by her intensity and mumbled something indiscernible as he backed away from the table. I felt embarrassed.

Don't misunderstand; I'm not embarrassed to share my faith, to identify myself as a Christian, or to explain the gospel to people. But I am embarrassed when "Christianity" leaves a blow like a billy club, or it sends out shockwaves, leaving an awkward wake of silence in the aftermath. The gospel can bring conviction (and that can include silence), but the gospel is never obnoxious.

The gospel is offensive enough without us adding rude behavior to its message.

I feel for the lady who stunned the waiter with her intense "proclamation of faith."

Look to the Man

I feel for her because she is probably a passionate woman with strong convictions. But she doesn't look like the Man she claims to follow. She may have a true love for Christ and His Word. But if she loves Christ, and if God's Word is her authority, how she treats others should be shaped by Scripture. If she is as rude to others as she was to this waiter, she probably has few friends and little opportunity for sharing the gospel effectively.

But I feel worse for the waiter. If he doesn't know Christ, an obnoxious response will certainly not draw him to the Life-Giver. No matter how intensely I may oppose another individual's opinions or disagree with his or her behavior, I have a responsibility to convey truth in a gracious way:

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ (Eph. 4:15).

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person (Col. 4:5–6).

The words of a wise man's mouth win him favor (Eccles. 10:12).

Be Salty

If you have the opportunity to see the general public today, please be winsome, gracious, and kind. Let your words be salty with truth but also be gentle because of the grace you've received.

Let your words be salty with truth but also be gentle because of the grace you've received. TWEET THIS

How you interact with others and the choices you make are a reflection on the One you claim to follow.

How are you responding to those you disagree with?

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