Keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander // 1 Peter 3:16
I’ve always seen this quote floating around the internet “Live in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you, no one would believe it.” That’s a really high standard to hold yourself to- to be so good that no one would dare believe some terrible rumor about you.
I think the only way to hold ourselves to this standard is to be completely transparent. We all so often put on this face of perfection- we have no struggles, we have no weaknesses, and we have no hurt.
But I think sometimes, other people need to see the weakness in us. (I’ve touched on this thought in my last blog post, choose love // choose people). They need to see our honesty. They need to see that we recognize that we’re not perfect, and then they need to see us desiring to be better. The key to this is the desiring to be better part- it would do no good to just walk around complaining, we have to show where our hope comes from through our weaknesses and failures.
And being transparent is scary, because sometimes we don’t want people to see us. The real us. We want to keep our insecurities locked up inside. We don’t want to open up completely because we might get rejected. Other people might not like what they find when they see the depths of our soul. Honesty and transparency pose the possibility of rejection.
But you know what the absolute best form of evangelism is? Your life. Your daily attitude and behavior. The choices that other people see you making and the friends other people see you reaching out to is the best way to spread the gospel. Your life should be so honest and so faithful that people can look at you and say there’s a girl fully immersed in God.
Being completely transparent allows people to see the compassion and faithfulness in your heart. It allows others to see the love of God radiating from your soul.
Sometimes we’re reluctant to show our heart because it embarrasses us. For some reason we’re ashamed to admit that we have feelings, that we have love in our heart. And also, it’s scary, because transparency also means people can see your mistakes, your weaknesses. That’s why we want to close up, to pull ourselves away, to put up a strong face and hide away the real us.
But honestly and truly, the only way people are going to see a glimpse of God through you is when they can see the REAL you.
Dear friend, people need you.
The you that stays faithful through temptation.
The you that puts on a smile even when it’s hard.
The you that stands up for others.
The you that helps those in need.
People need to see that you.
And sometimes that means they’ll see the you that breaks under too much stress or the you that sometimes hurts others or that cries too much or doesn’t always have kind words to say. But even through your weakness or your mistakes, they still see the real you.
They’ll see that your faith in God doesn’t make you perfect, and it doesn’t make your life perfect, but that your faith in God is the only thing that gives you strength through it all.
That’s the best way to reach out to others, the best way to spread God’s light and love- to live completely honestly and let people in. Let them into your heart. Share where you hurt and share where you fall- and then share where your strength comes from.
And I pray that I’ll live in a way that everyone that sees me recognizes that I’m completely consumed in God. In everything I say and do and all the decisions I make and even the friendships I make and the people I surround myself with- I want it all to point to God. Your life and my life may be the only gospel another person sees.
Be the opportunity to them. Don’t close up, but give others the chance to see the real you and the life you live and then make sure YOU and your life points them to God.