...be thou an example of the believers…–1 Timothy 4:12
Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of Intercultural Studies conducted a survey among 750 Muslims who had converted to Christianity. The survey showed that the strongest motivating factor behind conversion was seeing Christians practice what they preached.
The results of this survey and others like it are both an encouragement and a challenge. God gives us the privilege of seeing our lifestyle make a difference to others. Christian integrity means representing God well, speaking his truth and his love. If that seems hard to do, it is—on our own. Yet Christ, “the hope of glory,” is in us to love others as Jesus would love them.–(Dr. Gary Chapman)
These folks aren’t the only ones who see this as a problem. One missionary said, “The chief obstacle to the spread of Christianity is not Hinduism, nor Buddhism, but the rotten behavior of people who call themselves Christian.” I believe he is right.
Dr. Robert Speer wrote:”After thirty years of leadership in missionary work, it is my conviction and conclusion that the greatest missionary problem is the failure of Christian people to live up to their profession.” That my dear friend is a shame! To think that we ourselves are the “chief obstacle to the spread of Christianity” should drive us to our knees in repentance. God forbid that our poor example make the glorious gospel repulsive to those in need of salvation. We ought to be better than that!
Living with integrity is one of the most important things we can do to draw others to Jesus. That doesn’t mean we live perfect lives. We will fail, and we’ll need to ask forgiveness of God and others. But even in our failings, we can reflect an authenticity that leads others to a perfect God.(Dr. Gary Chapman)