Does this sound familiar? “If I start talking to people about Jesus, they’ll think I’m a hypocrite.”
I know I’ve felt that way before. We desperately long to represent Christ well, but we’re afraid that our actions will contradict our words.
And that fear keeps us from telling others about Jesus. But that may not even be the worst of it…
Let me tell you about my own struggles with this. I was a pastor at the time—a pastor, no less! I was on my home before returning to the church to lead a Bible study that evening. As I was driving home, a guy cut me off in traffic.
What he did was rude, but my reaction trumped his rudeness!
I was beside myself with anger. I blasted him with my horn and shot a hateful look at him. Even as I write this, I’m ashamed at my behavior!
Immediately I was cut to the heart. What had I just done? Where did this hateful anger come from? I was horribly ashamed at myself. I began to wonder if that poor guy recognized me. I knew that if I were to meet him that night somewhere else, my integrity was ruined!
Here’s the deal—we all know what we’re really like behind closed doors:
- We argue with our spouse
- We get angry behind the wheel
- Our eyes wander and linger where they should not
- We say things that are unkind and hurtful
- We’re critical, ungrateful, and spiteful
- We entertain unhealthy thoughts
- We hold grudges against those who hurt us
- We haven’t been to church for a while, and the truth is, we don’t even like going
- We may even participate in some activity or habit that leaves us feeling dirty and ashamed
And because of those things in our life, we CAN’T tell people about Jesus, because they’ll think…, no, they’ll KNOW we are hypocrites. And the tragic reality is that they’re right!
We feel trapped by our own inadequacies and failures!
We desperately long to please God. We want to live a pure and godly life—we really do! And we know Jesus wants us to tell others about Him. At times we feel so guilty. And we wonder, “Will people spend eternity in hell because of my hypocrisy?”
Paul’s words in Romans 7 haunt us, “What I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”
Jesus can and does rescue us!
After I had that confidence-crushing experience with that driver who cut me off, I poured out my heart to God, begging Him to change me. The time I spent in His presence that day cleansed and refreshed me and gave me renewed hope.
And in His tender mercy, God showed me two things:
- He loves you and me even when we sin. Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins is more than abundant for any sin. And when we come to Him in repentance, “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
I realized in that moment, that until Jesus comes back, I will always be a sinner in deep need of His forgiveness and cleansing. I will ALWAYS be an imperfect witness for Him. And despite my hypocrisy, He asks me to represent Him to others through my life and words.
You see, we are merely “beggars showing other beggars where to find food.” And you know what? People appreciate knowing that we’re as frail and needy as they are.
When Jesus met the woman at the well in John 4, she believed in Him and immediately went and told others about Jesus. She didn’t have time to clean up her tarnished reputation. And many came to Jesus because of her testimony.
The same happened with the man in Luke 8. Jesus healed this demon-possessed man who had terrorized the village for so long. And when the man wanted to go with Jesus, instead, Jesus told him to go home and tell everyone what great things God had done for him… and he did!
Because of Christ’s forgiveness, He frees you and me to tell others about Him, despite our sin and hypocrisy. Jesus liberates us to be disciple-makers the way we are right now.
- He also reminded me that day how He wants to transform us and make us more like Jesus. And as He is transforming us, we can represent Him well before others with our life and words. BUT we cannot do this alone. We need the help of others.
We need the help of others…
This is what it means to disciple each other. We walk through life with each other, encouraging, calling out, spurring each other into deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.
Only an ever-deepening relationship with Jesus Christ will make us more like Him. This relationship requires relational skills. Where do we gain those? Through relationship and interaction with others.
- Paul warns, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
- And on the flipside, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)
We need to be discipled (to become more and more like Jesus) as much as we need to help disciple others (helping them become more like Jesus).
How Do We Do That?
I have some great news! This is so much simpler than we think, but we’ve complicated it.
In fact, we’ve complicated disciple-making in at least 7 ways. By complicating it, this only adds to our frustration, fear and embarrassment:
- “I don’t know how to disciple someone.”
- “What if I do it wrong?”
- “I haven’t been trained.”
- “Making disciples is for trained professionals.”
- “The church is responsible for that, not me.”
- “I don’t even know what it means to disciple someone.”
I wrote a little book that answers all these questions. I’ve laid it out for you in simple, easy-to-understand terms: The Simplicity of Disciple-Making and 7 Ways We’ve Complicated It!
The book is so short, you can read it in under 2 hours! And here’s my promise:
If you know Jesus and you do what the book tells you to do, you will not only be able to disciple others, but you’ll experience extreme joy in Christ. Why?
- Because you’ll be drawing ever closer in your relationship with Jesus.
- Because Jesus will continue to transform you, making you more like Him.
- Because you’ll have the joy of helping others grow in their relationship with Jesus.
- Because you’ll experience freedom from fear and embarrassment about sharing Christ with others.
- Because you’ll hear Jesus commending you, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Why Should You Listen to Me?
- As you’ve already seen, I experience the same struggles you do with living and telling others about Jesus.
- Amid my struggles, I’ve had the privilege of discipling others for nearly 50 years.
- I’ve written more than 10 books on disciple-making.
- My most recent book, The Simplicity of Disciple-Making and 7 Ways We’ve Complicated It! puts disciple-making on the bottom shelf where Jesus intended it to be.
- Because if you keep doing what you’re doing and living how you’re living, nothing will change. You’ll be frustrated, defeated, and joyless.
Here’s What I’m Asking You to Do…
- Go to Amazon.com and purchase 2 copies of my book (they’re really inexpensive).
- Read one book and give the other one to a friend. (You could even read them together.)
- Just do what the book says, and you’ll be discipling each other, growing in your faith, and experiencing extreme joy!
P.S. I’m really excited for you and what you’re about to experience when you read my short book and apply it in your life! Don’t put it off! Click here now to order it. Experience extreme joy In Jesus Christ as you grow in Him and disciple others!
Your brother in Christ,