When we identify as a Christian to the public we open ourselves up for a lot of judgment from nonbelievers and unfortunately fellow believers as well. It is extremely important to understand the weight of this fact when it comes to our witness to others. In many people’s minds, the way that we compose ourselves directly represents the church as a whole and more importantly the Lord. Within this we need to take seriously the way that we act around others. In all situations, whether fantastic or horrible, we need to compose ourselves in a way that reflects the Lord well so as to not have a negative impact on someone’s walk with the Lord or perception of Him.
It is a massive responsibility that the Lord has given us, to represent Him to the world, but with complete reliance on him it is so possible. In our day to day lives whether we know it or not there are people that the Lord has placed there who take note of our actions. If they are believers this can have a huge impact on the way they go about their relationship with the Lord and how receptive they will be to any wisdom you have to offer them. If you speak truth over someone that you are leading and yet you do not try to live in that truth chances are they won’t listen. If they are non-believers, our actions can have a huge impact on their chances of becoming a believer. If someone was a nonbeliever because they were burned by the church previously and they witness you handling difficult situations with genuine kindness and integrity this can show them that there is good in the church.
We need to watch carefully the way we act around certain people, especially people we are leading who look up to us and non-believers. This does not mean be fake around others and act like you are perfect. It just means to rely on the Lord for all of the self control you can get from Him so that your actions do not ever hinder someone from forming a relationship with the Lord or cause someone to stumble in their current relationship with the Lord. This could mean avoiding drinking in public places in Athens or this could mean taking caution on who you tell your current sin struggles to. It all depends on the relationship and the situation and sometimes there is not a clear cut answer. This is why we need to rely fully on the Lord for discernment and self control in our times of witnessing to other. However it is always a good idea to lean on the safe side and ask yourself in any situation something like “If someone were to see me do this would it affect their perception of Christianity or the Lord in a negative or positive way?" In almost every situation acting in a way that will have a positive impact will be the more difficult option. It takes self control and endurance, but this is a small price to pay in comparison to the chance of impacting another’s salvation for the better.
Author | Madeline Current