Guest Author - Michelle L. Pendergrass
“You cannot influence the other person’s life any more than you are willing to expose your own.”—author unknown.
So you mean if I don’t expose my life, I won’t have any authority or people won’t trust me, if I try to tell them about Christ or if I try to be an example of a woman following Christ?
You got it.
Lifestyle evangelism sounds so regal, intense, but it boils down to walking the walk. It doesn’t mean being perfect. (Only one perfect human walked this earth, and I’ll let you in on a little secret. It wasn’t you.) Living out your faith doesn’t mean making sure others see you only doing and acting certain ways. I’m convinced that’s how the term “Sunday Only Christian” came to be–these standards of perfection can only be lived up to for an hour or two once a week. Have you ever stopped to wonder to whom those standards belong? I believe that’s also why most non-believer’s don’t want anything to do with Christians.
Jesus liked to use common, everyday examples when teaching. Some time ago, an example from my own life took me by surprise. A friend was going through a rough situation, she thought she was alone, and the fear of judgment and condemnation from her Christian friends kept her lips sealed tight until a crisis shattered her. Broken, alone, and afraid, my friend spilled her private conflict with me. The shock to me was that I had been in the same situation more than a decade before. The intense emotion of reliving the past poured over me and seemed to melt away the wall that for so long held back my fear. Should I risk telling her that I know intimately what she’s speaking of
Because who I really am shines the brightest at times that I’m most transparent. It’s not about what verse I can quote you or what spiritual advice I can give. The more that I’m seen as a human with human problems, the more effective I am at letting Christ reflect in all directions. Pride keeps us from exposing ourselves. We start to believe lies and that is Satan’s foot in the door.
I said a quick prayer and told my friend the details of my experience and I’ll never forget what she said, “Knowing that you made it gives me hope, and I can’t remember the last time I had hope."