Q: You often say that the way we live is just as important as the words we speak when we’re trying to convince someone to follow Jesus. But I’m such a weak Christian that I can’t imagine anyone wanting to be like me. How can God possibly use me? — R.H.
A: It’s wrong to think that God can’t use us until we’re perfect. If that were true, God couldn’t use any of us, because none of us is perfect. Peter, one of Jesus’ closest disciples, had a habit of saying the wrong thing, and he even denied Jesus three times — and yet God still used him to bring thousands to faith in Christ.
Don’t misunderstand me, however; how we live truly is as important as what we say. If you stopped people on the street and asked them why they didn’t go to church or believe in Jesus, many (if not most) would probably say something like this: “I’m not interested in Christianity, because Christians are just a bunch of hypocrites.”
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It’s not true, of course; most Christians sincerely try to follow Jesus and be like him. But our lives do matter, and when unbelievers see an inconsistent or impure or selfish Christian, in their minds it gives them a reason to reject Christ. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. … Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14, 16).
Make sure of your commitment to Jesus. Then stay close to him every day, as you pray and read your Bible and become involved in a church where Christ is honored and taught. In addition, pray for those around you who don’t know Christ. The more we love others, the less we’ll love our sin.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.