A dear friend of mine told me that as a young woman, she had stopped going to church for awhile because somebody in her church had been a hypocrite. She said she had decided that if ‘that’ was what being a Christian was, forget it! In time, my friend determined to set Jesus as her example instead of people and returned to fellowship.
A survey, taken by Lifeway Research, revealed that the second most common reason people turned away from the church was because of a bad example set by somebody who was ‘a Christian’. Satan loves to use hypocrites as a ‘tool’ to get folks to turn aside from the strength of fellowship. Most likely, the ‘hypocrite’ is unaware that they have even been used! Perhaps, the offended person was looking for an excuse to leave church anyway, but the first thing I have to ask myself is; am I one of those “tools”?
This is a hard question to ask, yet, if I’m to be effective for Jesus, I must ask myself, could it be me? When I’m busy living my life, when I think nobody who knows me is looking—do I represent Christ? If the clerk at the store where I shop, the waitress where I drink coffee, the person who works with me, walked into my church Sunday, would they be surprised to see me there?
Today, as we do our quiet time with our Lord, we must—I MUST, ask the Holy Spirit to search my heart and see if there is any way in my life that represents Him badly. What is the Gospel according to—–ME?
I Timothy 4: 15-16 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
The Holy Bible, New International Version®. Pradis CD-ROM:Grand Rapids: The Zondervan Corporation, © 1973, 1978, 1984.