Christians get all weird about being disciples and telling others about Jesus. It seems they’re on either end of the spectrum—some don’t talk about Jesus at all because they’re too afraid they won’t be accepted or maybe because they don’t want to offend anyone; others may force Jesus upon other people and seem too pushy. Avoiding God when talking to non-believers or pushing religion on someone is not the way to show others what it means to be a follower of Christ. There needs to be a balance. One of the most important ways to do so is by exemplifying Jesus in the way you live.
When I was a PA student, I rotated with multiple physicians and physician assistants in different medical specialties. One physician stood out in particular—he is a Christian. And I didn’t know that because he preached to his patients or me or because he was pushy when it came to religion.
I knew it because he worked diligently, willingly, and with all his heart at his job as it says in Colossians 3:23. I knew it because of the way he interacted with patients, always so positive and willing to take time to explain anything without ever seeming annoyed. I knew it because he dropped “hints of Jesus” into conversation. For example, when explaining a medical condition to a patient he would start by saying, “The way that God made the heart is so cool…” and then he would proceed. I knew it because he would pray silently to himself before he ate.
This physician is a great example of a medical professional who incorporates God into his daily life without ever sounding “preachy” or being pushy; however, he never put Christ on the back burner either. Likewise, we should be doing the same. Ephesians 5:1 says you must imitate God in everything you do. Sometimes the way you live and interact with others has a greater impact than if you force Jesus on them. Actions speak louder than words.
We should live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity (Colossians 4:5). We do so by getting rid of all bitterness, harsh words, and all types of evil behavior. We do so by being kind to each other and forgiving one another. We do so by the way we handle difficult or tragic situations. We do so by talking about God being an important aspect of our lives; once we build stronger relationships with people, it becomes easier to invite them to church, Bible study, etc.
When we imitate Christ, we become light in the darkness. Be an example of Christ in your daily life, Titus 2:7. Don’t let sin dull the evidence of Christ in you. And definitely don’t let the fear of what others may think of you dictate how you portray Christ to non-believers.