Must Christians act like Christ before sharing their faith?

Hey, thanks again for sending in questions related to our recent sermons.

This week we started a brand new series in which we are identifying six conversations

the world is already having, our friends, colleagues, neighbors are already having,

in which we can enter into and engage and through those conversations share our faith

in Christ.

So the six different conversations that we are going to talk about are power, the vulnerable,

purpose, justice, friendship, and self-worth.

We believe that Jesus is a better story on each one of those gigantic themes.

And each week we’re going to take one of those themes and show how Jesus is a better story

and then how we can be sharing Jesus as the better story to our friends, neighbors, colleagues.

So this last week was our first week and we talked about power.

So the question comes in, really, I’m glad it came in at the beginning because we were

going to need to talk about it at some time, but the question came in largely asking, do

Christians need to act like Christ in order to point to Christ?

Is it okay if Christians are failing yet still point to Christ as the answer?

Isn’t that a bit hypocritical?

Shouldn’t we get kind of our own house in order before we tell other people where the

answer is if we have such glaring failures?

And on the topic of power, Shor made a brief reference to this in the sermon.

There’s plenty of historical examples where Christians have not used their power in a

Christ-like way.

You don’t even have to go back through history.

You could look right now, current day, right?

You can find Christians who were not using their power in a Christ-like way.

So don’t Christians first kind of need to be known throughout the world of using their

power in the right way before we point to Christ as the example of how to use power?

And so the answer is, I think this is very clear and very important.

The answer is no, we don’t first have to get our house in order, but we need to own our


So to unpack that a little bit, no, we don’t have to be perfect.

We don’t have to have our house in order before we would point to Jesus as the answer.

Somebody who’s sick doesn’t have to get well before they tell somebody else who is sick,

go to the hospital, right?

Like a sick person can tell another sick person, doctors are good things, go for it.

That’s okay, right?

And on any of these topics, this won’t just be the case for power.

It’ll be every single week.

None of us are really finding Christ as the all-sufficient answer that he is and perfectly

exemplifying him throughout our entire lives.

We will always fall short.

So if we wait until we are really up and running, and especially if we wait until the entire

international body of Christians throughout the world is up and running like Jesus, we

are never going to point others to him.

I had in my years of college ministry, I always had college students ask me, we would be talking

about sharing their faith with their friends, and they would always ask me, I kind of feel

like my life is pretty trashy right now, so I don’t think I can tell other people about


I’ve got to get my life together before I tell other people about Jesus.

I’m like, no, that is not right.

You do need to own the fact that your life is trashy, but what you want to say to folks

is you go to them and say something like, I cannot believe that Jesus would have me

right now.

I cannot believe that even my life, the way that it is, that Jesus would still love me,

and he does, and that’s how awesome he is.

And so even if your life is a total wreck, you can still point people to Jesus.

That’s what I always told college students.

Firmly believe that, because to some extent, our life is always going to be a wreck.

We’re never going to be a picture of perfection.

Jesus is the picture of perfection, and so we want to point people to him, not ourselves.


So no, you don’t need to be completely up and running before you’re able to point to

Christ as the answer.

But I do believe that you really need to own the mistakes, especially if your friend brings

up on the issue of power, be like, hey, Christians don’t have the best track record on this,

and here’s five examples through history.

Just own it.

Don’t defend Christians at all.

Just say, yeah, that was messed up.

That’s not how Christ acted.

That’s not how we should act.

That’s not our hope, right?

These people who failed, they are not our hope.

Myself, right?

I have used, you know, confess your own sins.

I have used power in ways that are not Christ-like, right?

But my hope isn’t in me doing it right.

My hope is that Jesus laid down his power to elevate me as unworthy as I am.

Like that is the Christian message.

It’s our unworthiness, Christ’s worthiness in the substitution of what he gave us from

what he did, right?

So you don’t ever want to point to yourself as this like picture of perfection that people

should follow.

You want to point to Christ as salvation, as rescue, as somebody who’s going to come

get you and lift you up out of this dirt that you’ve created for yourself.

So no, you don’t have to be 100% up and running to share Christ through these ways, but two,

you do have to own your mistakes.

As a last little tidbit, I would say I do hope that all these weeks in each one of these

themes of conversations that when we expose Christ as the best story that it will convict

us where we are not like him and it will drive us to repentance.

So in the terms of power this last week, I do hope for all of us, we found ways or saw

ways we’re not living up to what Christ would have for us.

We seek his forgiveness and we change and we transform.

So I’m trying to accomplish a lot throughout all these six weeks.

But no, I don’t think you have to wait to be up and running, to be perfect, to have

your house in order before you can point to where the answer is.

Thanks for sending in the question and I hope it’s helpful and we will see you next time.