Are You Losing Credibility?
There aren’t many people I trust without reservation. Perhaps that says more about me than it says about “people”. There’s a troubling lack of firm, consistent standards in our lives. Sadly, the rate by which individuals fall to life’s myriad temptations is seemingly no different among Christian leaders than among people with other beliefs, or lack of.
Problems arise from God using men to deliver the news that His love bridged the distance that separated us, if we can’t be trusted. Men, after all, are the primary vehicle by which He chose to make this truth known. Men are responsible for laying the foundation of all we know God to be, since His Word has been relayed through them. Is it possible, then, that we jeopardize the credibility of these men of God when we, as modern-day “men and women of God”, don’t consider how well or how poorly our example might reinforce their message?
Unfortunately, it’s all-too-easy to lose credibility. We lose credibility as Christians, when we live at odds with one another. We lose credibility with our neighbors, when we live without peace in our homes. Pastors lose credibility when they embellish details of a true story, for the sake of maximizing it’s impact in a sermon. Churches lose credibility when they have a form of godliness, but deny His power. While any one of these things may seem small on their own, together they give the world every reason to not believe.
Our lives are on display. If you profess to be a Christian, people are looking to you for something in which they can believe. The challenge, then, is not to convince people of the truth, but to live according to that truth. When our beliefs translate into convictions that permeate our lives, we can be sure that the credibility of God’s Word will be evident in us.