How would you answer someone who never goes to church because he thinks that Christians are hypocrites?
Suggested Daily Reading: I Timothy 4: 9-16 (especially verse 12)
Imagine that you have a neighbour who refuses to go to church. You ask him, “Why?” He tells you that he used to work with a “Christian,” but this person was the most selfish, unfriendly and miserable person he ever worked with. How would you respond?
You might respond by first agreeing that the example of this “Christian” was terrible. Explain that you would not go to church either if your decision to go depended on the behaviors and examples of all “Christians.” But inform him that you are a Christian because your faith is based on Jesus Christ, not on Christians. Jesus’ words, actions and selfless giving were perfect. They contained no blemishes, shortcomings or failures. Jesus lived sinlessly.
You may wish to illustrate with an example. You could ask your neighbour, “How he would respond if a person told him that the people in our city are impolite and rude”? This person explained that once stopped in your city when he experienced car trouble and the gas station attendant he spoke with was very disrespectful and uncaring. Your neighbour would likely respond that this visitor should not judge all the people of your city because of the poor behaviour of one gas station attendant. Encourage him in the same way not to judge all Christians from the poor example of one or a few.
How do non-Christians view your words and actions? What type of example are you? Why is your example very important? Will your example draw people to Christ, or the opposite?