I was struck by something in the sermon today.
Basically, the gist of what I heard is that people are hungry and yearning for God. What they’re wanting to see is an authentic witness by a Christian whose walk matches his or her talk.
Often, when people reject Christianity, what they’re put off by isn’t so much God as those who give Him a bad name by talking a good game of faith but living in a way that denies what they profess to believe.
Brennan Manning said that what the world can’t stand is people who profess Jesus but who deny Him with their lifestyle. That’s what an unbelieving world finds so unbelievable.
The key isn’t perfection. It’s authenticity.
I still say the best way to gain someone’s trust in order to share the gospel is to listen. Not listen to respond or to pass judgment. Simply listen to hear their stories and find out who they are.
I still remember the words that Pastor Mike said about having your testimony validated by your lifestyle– if you don’t live it, you don’t believe it.
That’s the simplest (and best) way to put it. If you don’t live it, you don’t believe it.