Some time ago, God spoke to me from 1Corinthians 15:34. These words cut right to the very heart of my being. (For anyone keeping track, this occurred before I began to cover my head.) "Awake to righteousness and sin not, for some have not the knowledge of God; I speak this to your shame." My behavior was not in line with my beliefs. My quick temper, my snide remarks about others, the judgement I passed daily on those around me- none of it was pleasing to my God and none of it reflected well on Him when I called myself a Christian. A desire was awakened in me- the desire to live in a way that would draw others closer to Christ, or at the very least not drive a wedge between the Savior and those in need of salvation.
There are Christians who put others down, tell OR laugh at dirty jokes, act "holier than thou"... and that's the light stuff. There are also Christians who are only out for themselves, who give money to the church with the belief that their obligation to God has been met, drink on Saturday night and come to church Sunday morning, cheat on spouses, beat their spouses and children, go on mission trips to take pictures of themselves handing out tracts and hanging out on the beach. It's not difficult to see why so many people look at Christians and say, "No, thanks" to Christ. If Jesus is our Lord and Savior, our eyes have been opened to the sinful ways of this world. We ought not live like the world. In the words of Jesus, from John 17: 14-18 "I have given them [believers] thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world."
Recently we had the privelege to meet a young man whom we will call "Zack". Zack was brought to our house by his girlfriend, who is a Christian. Her desire was for Zack to meet real Christians, not church-goers. Zack is a nice young man. He is also a fence-sitter in the spiritual realm. He is not ready to trust Christ because of the behavior of Christians. "Awake to righteousness and sin not, for some have not the knowledge of God; I speak this to your shame." Christians, let's not allow our sinfulness to stand between Zack and the God who wants to be his savior.