Repenting for the Sin of Being a Lousy Witness

pointing-finger1I’ve been obsessing about the degradation of our nation. Like keeping me up at night obsessing. Like freaking out at people obsessing.  I see the collapse of common sense all around me and while my mind is telling me that I need to react in love and understanding, in reality, I usually respond with either anger or with judgment. I am starting to find myself desiring to win arguments against nonbelievers rather than living my life trying to bring glory to God. The sad reality is that my own story shows that nothing can convince someone who is perishing the truth, but that does not seem to have mattered recently. This blog post is being written out of a desire to repent for my committing the sins of pride and of being a horrible witness. Academically, I understand what I should be doing but due to my own wretchedness, I am finding it almost impossible to do anything. I don’t know most of you but considering that many of us are of like mind, I feel that this article will be as relevant to some of you as it will be for me. While I reflect on God’s word and remember my duty to Christ, maybe I can help some of you in the process.

There can be no doubt that the culture around us is collapsing upon itself. The sacred is now considered profane and the profane is now considered holy. The self is placed upon a pedestal while a desire to help people is now considered weakness. The Christian worldview and the secular worldview lay on two different spectrums and this divide is only widening. Those who have rejected God are reveling in what they see as the overcoming of the antiquated and weak need of religion. This rejection has always been there but now those who never truly believed are emboldened to not only “come out of the closet” but to attack those who view God as essential. I am not saying anything that most of you don’t already know, but the problem that I am facing is how do we deal with this? How do we treat those who are poised to oppress us? How do we witness to those who are on their way to hell and who don’t even know it? Like I should have done from the beginning, I need to look to scripture.

178611) Love thy neighbor. This is not convince your neighbor they are wrong and this is not make your neighbor feel stupid. We are commanded to love our brothers and sisters AND unbelievers. Only by reflecting the light of Christ and showing how different we are from the rest of the world (kind, gentle and altruistic) can we become a beacon to the lost.

The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:31

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. – Matthew 5:14

2) Realize that the natural state of man is rebellion to God. Unlike the fluffy bunny God of liberal Christianity, the God of the bible hates and loathes sin. He hates it because it separates us from Him because a wholly and righteous God cannot stand unrighteousness. Man, in his essence understands this and reacts accordingly. Unrepentant man hates God and realizing this should make you realize that when people get angry at you it is in fact them rebelling against Christ. We shouldn’t take it personally. Actually we should be saddened.

as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; – Romans 3:10

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:18

3) Realize that we don’t save sinners, God does. We are commanded to bring the gospel and to speak the gospel but we are not commanded to convince people that the gospel is truth. Only the Spirit can open the eyes of the nonbeliever. God convicts people of their sins and uses us as the method but if they are stuck in their rebellion and if God has not chosen them, nothing you can do can change this. We need to stop placing the burden upon ourselves.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, – Ephesians 2:8

bible-in-chains4) Speaking the (true) Gospel will be seen as condemnation, but that does not mean we should react with anger. When the lost hear the gospel they are confronted with the reality (whether perceived or unperceived) of their separation from God. The law is written on all hearts and even though you reach out to them out of a desire to see them saved, the vast majority will not see it that way. You talk about forgiveness and they will hear that you think they are sinful. You will talk about grace and they will hear that you think they are broken. Someone who does not think they are sick doesn’t think they need a doctor.

If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. – John 15:19

As I look over the list that I just created I find myself chuckling at how simple the answers are but how difficult the execution is. I must turn all aspects of my life to God and allow Him to use me. I must stop seeing people as a problem to be solved and to realize that God has already chosen those out of the world. I must realize that I am simply the means that God uses. Now if only I can take what I know to be truth and actually do it. My friends, this is one of those times when only God can help me. I know that only coming to the Father and begging for His help will I be able to take what I know and live my life that way. Let’s all pray for one another for this to happen in the Church as a whole.

 

Michael Davis
Senior Editor of Veterans to Christ. Served as a Cavalry Scout from 2005-2009. Iraq Veteran.