Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. - Colossians 4:5-6
When I decided to follow Jesus, I opened my life to scrutiny and examination. The Light that now shines in my life is something for all to see and the world will be drawn to it. They will be drawn out of intrigue, anger, and will even accuse me of wrongdoing because they do not understand a life devoted to Christ. (1 Peter 2:12)
Because they are watching, I need to make wise decisions that reflect the wisdom of God, power of Christ, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in my heart. I am called to be an example - not perfect - not self-righteous, but rather someone others can look to and say, "I want that kind of joy, hope, peace, and discipline in my life". I am called to a higher standard of living. One that is pleasing to God and strangely foreign but attractive to the non-believer. (Ephesians 5:15-20)
As others start to witness my life in Christ they will be drawn to me and I will be drawn to them, just as Christ could not stay away from sinners, the lost, the sick, the people society rejected, so too must I be drawn to non-believers. Knowing that when I seize an opportunity to engage them, my personal ministry of discipleship is in alignment with the ministry of Christ as he calls people to salvation and healing. (Mark 2:15-17)
And this is where I have to make a choice to condemn or to connect. To condemn is to disobey, to judge is not my responsibility, to be their lord is me replacing the only perfect righteous LORD. To connect means to understand that I cannot expect "Christian living" from non-believers, so I need to adjust my expectations. I need to be gracious in my tone, my words, and my conversation. I need to speak both truth and grace in a way that draws them closer to their Savior so he can change their heart, mind, and behaviors. (1 Corinthians 5:12)
LORD, thank you for bringing me from unbelief to belief. Thank you for bringing gracious and truth telling people into my life and for revealing your plan and purpose to me. Holy Spirit, help me to live in a way that bears fruit - seizing the gifts you have given me - and serving those around me with them. Jesus, help me to have your wisdom, compassion, and love for those outside the church. Give me the courage to engage them, love them, and share the Good News with them, Amen.
Questions To Consider:
- Does your life reflect a commitment to living for the LORD?
- When you see unbelievers acting in ways that oppose the LORD, do you condemn or connect?
- Is there an opportunity to share the Good News that you need to seize today with a neighbor, co-worker, or someone you serve?
Make it a great day!