Many Christians today fail to live out the identity that God has given them through Christ, sometimes wrongly blaming the world for it. We all live in a fallen world alright, but we shouldn’t be scared of it. We are given the authority and the backing that we need to live for Christ in this world. The question is, are we living for Him?
The Wrong Approach
I have seen various wrong approaches adopted by Christians who don’t understand their identity in Christ. Here are some of them:
1. The ‘If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them’ Approach
Some Christians who try to reach out to unbelieving friends end up joining them in what they do, compromising their own testimony in Christ.
2. The ‘Away From Me, You Filth’ Approach
Oh yes, this happens. Some Christians think the world is so defiled they wouldn’t want to go out and reach out to people. They fear being “contaminated by the world” and so hide inside church halls. Great Commission then becomes optional.
3. The ‘Befriend, Not Offend’ Approach
There are some who don’t compromise their testimony, and don’t protect their spirituality by hiding like a hermit. These people, however, are afraid to offend people by sharing the true Gospel. Instead, they try to “evangelise” with their lifestyle – by being a good person who doesn’t talk about or even just mention Christ Jesus.
Friends, all three approaches hinder us from effectively preaching the Gospel into all creation (see Mark 16:15). Do you want to be able to approach your non-Christian friends and reach out to them when they invite you to do something against your values? Here’s what you should do.
Reaching Out Wisely
1. Carefully Determine What Pleases The Lord
Ephesians 5:10 says we should “carefully determine what pleases the Lord” (NLT). Before saying “yes” to any request made by a friend, make sure that what you are doing and will be doing will be pleasing to God. God is your Master, and your friend is simply a friend – know who to prioritise.
2. Stick To God’s Word
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV) Use the Bible as your guidebook for instruction. Read it, keep it, and stick to it.
3. Learn To Say ‘No’
Lastly, learn to say “no” if what is asked of you is wrong. “And do not have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; instead, expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11 MEV)