Too often, we overcomplicate faith.
The truth is, it’s an amazing gift we’re given. One so big and unexpected that it blows most of us completely out of the water when we finally come to an understanding of what God has done. It seems unattainable, and yet we have it. Unbelievable, and yet it’s true.
It’s no wonder then, when we try to turn to another who is struggling to find it and pull them closer to understanding that we get all glitchy about it.
We typically panic in the moment because we realize the gravity of what’s at stake, while the person with us may not. We KNOW. And the knowledge that what we say or what we do next may make the difference–good or bad–in this person’s life, can paralyze us.
It’s in those moments that most Christians become weirdos.
- We wrack our brains and pull from things we’ve seen others do in our lives that didn’t really work.
- We remember what that televangelist said about how to be saved and we do our best to speak as eloquently as they did so that the process is appealing.
- We might even get all fancy and start quoting Bible verses verbatim. Bible verses, mind you, that mean nothing to a non-believer because they don’t understand or even see the relevance of the Bible yet.
Again, Team Weirdo from their perspective.
It’s not that complicated, church.
In 1 Corinthians 2: 10-13, Paul speaks about how simple God makes it, in the midst of the Corinthians trying to make it as complicated and as much about themselves as humanly possible:
“God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. We don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions. We didn’t learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we’re passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way.”
We’ve got to stop making it so hard, friends. So. Weird. Putting ourselves out there like we are experts to all the hidden secrets in life when the truth is, we are only an inch ahead of non-believers. Still sinning. Still working our way through understanding. Still struggling at times to fully accept what’s been given to us.
Because more than a “good example” of what our faith looks like, new seekers to the faith need to see that Christians are just average, normal people, who serve an amazing God. A God who loves them, cares for them, and protects them–despite their many shortfalls.
Instead, we need to be talking to others person-to-person. Getting real about how we got to where we are in our faith. In other words, telling the truth.
The truth like:
- The struggle we faced to take that first leap of faith
- The past mistakes and huge life fails we had along our path to finding Jesus
- Our continued mistakes that make us still rely on His grace every single day
- The way we still struggle to find understanding about the same problems in the world that non-believers struggle to understand
- The things in our lives that we had to remove–not because Jesus looked down on them–but because we personally couldn’t handle them properly
- The struggle we still face, like Paul, to do the right thing in difficult situations
- The pride we struggle with on a daily basis
- The joy that growing closer to God can give you
- The intimate friendship that is possible with God when you let your guard down
- The unbelievable love we tangibly get from Him
- The family you can find through the church and other Christians when you do the hard work of getting to know strangers you thought were weird in the beginning
At the end of the day, we can’t save other people. We can only serve as a glimpse into the lifestyle of a Christian. If we misrepresent ourselves, our struggles, and our actual lives, we make them feel as if the lifestyle is not attainable to everyone. The exact opposite of God’s heart.
Let God lead the situation. Let Him lead you through the conversation. Then point them back to Him, with the best gift you can give them: an honest friend to help them figure it all out.