Believe it or not, I don’t have some random, clever example to segway this in to a spiritual point. Enjoy the night off from that.
I was at my Monday morning “Mission” group meeting yesterday morning. This group is a component of Campus Outreach, the campus ministry I’m a part of here at school. What we do is, basically, meet to talk about how, when, and with whom we are going to share the Gospel each week. It’s going pretty well.
In the meeting, I explained how my last week in ministry was, well, lousy. I attempted a couple things that didn’t work out. And I feel like people are on to me and know we are going to talk about spiritual stuff, so they dodge my invites. It kinda sucks. I’ve been feeling discouraged about ministry and been really praying for opportunities to share Christ. There just hasn’t been many lately. I try to justify that to myself by relishing in the fact that I at least try to lead a Godly lifestyle. But a thought occurred to me that has occurred before, and it has stuck since about 9:20 am.
Passive witnessing isn’t enough.
I predicate the explanation of my spiritual life on action. I typically always talk about how I try to show I’m saved through the things I choose to do (and not do). I think that’s very important. If you’re going to call yourself a Christian, you are supposed to act like one. The world ought to be able to see that you are different than them. I could throw a myriad of verses at you, but I won’t. Galatians 2:20 is a good one. Bottom line— knowing Christ means reflecting Christ. End of story. I have always taken that very seriously. Now, have I always managed to stay true to that? Well, of course not. Ask any of the 300+ kids I graduated high school with. They saw me get mad at stupid stuff, or act cocky, or do things out of lust. The label “Chief of Sinners” most certainly applies to me. But I tried to be a Christian in my daily habits. I did pretty average. That’s whatever.
In college, no one knows (or cares) who you are, like, at all. Especially with my not being from South Carolina, I really could have fabricated almost any identity, person, and past I wanted to be when I got to college. I could have been a 4-time State Champion, who has met Obama, and made a 36 on my ACT. No one could have really fact-checked me on my claims. Of course, I didn’t do that. That’s ridiculous. My point is that we are who we act like in college. People know you by what you wear and what groups you belong to. I made the decision that people, if they cared to identify me, were going to have to identify me as the guy who wears hats, always has in headphones, drinks coffee, plays football, doesn’t party, goes to church, and wears chacos. Surprisingly, that’s also exactly who I am.
Funny how that works out.
Let me get to my original point. Being a Christian is great. Attempting to live a righteous life is great, and it is also required of us, as Believers. But that’s simply not enough. I wear hats around campus. Does that make other people wear hats? Well, no. I listen to music all the time. Does that make people a Christian Rap fan? Of course not. So, is my living like Christ going to share the Gospel, really?
No, I highly doubt it.
There’s the famous quote by whoever— I’m not going to Google it— that you should “share the Gospel and, if necessary, use words.” I’m not going to front, I totally disagree with that. In college, no one cares at all what you do on a daily basis. Pay any kind of attention to fraternities and sororities, and you will see that people don’t care. Passive witnessing is not really witnessing. It’s not nothing, but it definitely isn’t enough. Acting like Christ isn’t really sharing Christ. It’s representing Him, yeah. Sort of. But the notion that people subscribe because they see someone living a certain way isn’t supported. Let’s be honest, anyway… I do nothing scandalous on the weekends, and I never, ever drink alcohol. Is the average college kid going to look at that and say, “Man, that looks great.” Uh, no. Probably not.
I maintain my passive witness for, really, two reasons. First and foremost, it’s because Christ asks me to. If I’m going to belong to Him, I’m going to act like it. Period. I would be utterly embarrassed to do otherwise. Secondly, I maintain it because, when I do get that chance to share the Gospel, my life needs to match up to what I’m trying to explain to people. “Yeah, so here is 5 reasons to pull for Clemson… well, no, I mean, I’m a Georgia fan, but you should still pull for Clemson.” That makes no sense and no impact.
So, what am I saying?
Acting like you’ve heard the Gospel is not the same as sharing the Gospel. At all. Passive witnessing is necessary, but it also isn’t final.
Nobody said it was easy. But, it is most definitely, irrefutably, and 777% worth it.