I would hate to stand before a congregation and falsely testify about God and his word. How much even more so though does this thought occur when I come to talk to unbelievers about Christ?
The responsibility given to bring truth to the congregation is much less when compared to the truth we bring to non believers. Talking truths of God to Christians is generally a little less of a struggle as they will generally have a more thorough knowledge of the God you are presenting. To the world though, who obviously have less of an understanding, truth can be harder to pass over as they would not have any truth to rely on. When God is unknown, so is His word, His love and His truth.
So even though I am making sure the message I am preparing will be based on absolute truth, I have come to understand that the truth I am relying on, is the same truth I will need to bring up at certain times when God shoves and opportunity in my face to share the Good News.
Both my wife and I have been caught in these situations recently when faced with an unbeliever who was sharing life stories, we both missed our opportunities to bring forth the Good News. We did not personally try not to share the gospel, we both just had those moments of uncertainty about whether or not we should have spoken up.
Having said that though, isn't the truth the only thing that should come out of our mouths and what people should want to listen to. Sure, Satan will put walls up and try to stop that truth from coming into that person's life (because he knows the power God's truth holds), but God's truth sticks to people just like the Holy Spirit clings to us.
As important as our message is to the world, how much more so is the message of our actions. How many times have our words been overshadowed by the actions we have shown. Just as the old saying goes: "Actions speak louder than words", meaning people will listen to what we're saying but even more so, they will watch and wait to see you slip up with your actions.
We may get a bit hot under the collar, walk into a compromising situation or be stuck in a sin that compromises the words we are trying to speak. Whatever the action, the unbeliever is more in tune with this than with the words you can give to them.
In essence, don't allow your flesh to run the way you live as your flesh is weak, just as Jesus states in Matthew 26:41: "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak". Allow the spirit inside of you to lead and in doing so your words and your actions will bring glory to God and bring undeniable truth to the world.
So, just as I pray that my message will be what God wants the congregation to hear, I also pray each day that I would allow the Holy Spirit to lead my thoughts, my words and my actions. If all I say and do points to Christ as a loving, graceful, forgiving, peaceful, joyful God, how much more effective is my message going to be?
Tim McDonald lives and works in Mackay Queensland with a family of four children. He leads YAC (Young Adults Cell) group and is the drummer in his church's youthful band.
Tim's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/tim-mcdonald.html