The Power of Being Real
When it comes to witnessing to your non-Christian friends, God loves to work through your "with-nessing." And, no, my spell-checker hasn't failed. I'm talking about the importance of the time you spend with your friends. In the school halls or during a car ride to a movie, they can rub shoulders with someone who's excited about living for God.
Does this mean you have to act perfect? No. Does this mean you never make mistakes or have "down days?" Not at all. With-nessing means …
Being real. You're not trying to act like a good Christian in front of your non-believing friends. They can tell a fake just as easily as you can. After all, Jesus is all about the truth (John 14:6). So don't try to be Mr. or Miss Perfect. Just be the real you.
Showing your heart. If you're a genuine Christ follower, you have a lot going for you. After all, you're a whole new person with a whole new set of values (2 Corinthians 5:17). And while you're human and still have your problems, you no doubt desire to follow Jesus and live for him. If that weren't true, you probably wouldn't be reading this article.
The kind of person you want to be is one of the huge differences between you and your non-Christian friends. Check out how Paul laid this out for some Christians who lived in a town called Philippi. In his letter to these believers, he wrote that it's God who improves on both their desire and their actions (Philippians 2:13). Paul then pointed out that his own actions weren't perfect, but his desire to follow Jesus was still worth copying (Philippians 3:8-14 and 4:9).
Let your heart and life shine around your friends, even if it seems like just a flicker sometimes. Remember: A spark can ignite a very big bonfire.
Growing in your faith. If you're genuine about growing in your faith, your friends can't help but see it. Think about it this way. If you love cars, you're probably going to have a car calendar hanging in your locker, car posters plastered on your bedroom walls and a copy of Car and Driver in your backpack ready to read. You just want to know all about cars and can't help sharing the latest car news. Similarly, if you love Jesus, you're going to do things to make your relationship with him better, and you can't help but talk about what he's teaching you.
Here are some signs that you're a growing Christian:
- You ask God for help, confident that he will help when you're having a bad day.
- You thank God for the good things that come your way.
- You thank God for teaching you hard lessons through tough times.
- You expect God to give you direction for your decisions.
- You ask for forgiveness and you forgive others.
This list could go on and on, and will continue to grow as you study God's Word and apply it to your life. Again, and let me be clear, this is not about being perfect or looking good. And maybe not all the items on the list are true for you right now. But if you're a growing Christian, some of them are. And those that are a part of your life can't help but be seen by your friends.
So don't ever forget the power of witnessing. While not looking for perfection, your non-Christian friends are watching to see if Christianity really works. They are watching to see if you're the kind of friend they can trust and who loves them with no strings attached. And when they do see these traits in you, there's a good chance they'll one day ask: "Will you tell me why your life is so different?"
Written by Dave Rahn
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