”I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am about to spit you out of my mouth”
The fact is, I find people tend to have quite a good idea of the goodness we Christians are meant to hold. Generally people know what is good and what is not, and people know the ways we try to live up to.
That’s why when we lose integrity and righteousness around other people, we cause so much damage to their perspective of God.
What a statement God makes when he says he would rather us be cold than lukewarm! That’s a sobering thought. That if we knew God yet only followed him partially, he would rather we didn’t know him at all!
Why? Because we are representing God to the rest of the world!
2 Corinthians 5v20
”We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
When we are lukewarm Christians, we say:
”I’m a Christian, I know God, I believe in Christ,
but I still walk as a non-believer does, in sin and not in love”
People who are lukewarm claim that they are Christian, and fair enough their hearts may believe, but their actions never match up.
The worst thing: Lukewarm Christians display that they belong to religion, not grace!
When we sin, when we lose integrity and righteousness in front of people, we are showing that we are under a law we do not agree with, rather than under God’s glorious grace!
So when we mess up by getting drunk, having sex before marriage, speaking crudely, losing integrity and slandering people, all that people see of us is a set of rules we cannot and do not wish to follow!
To be honest, that’s what I see of Islam. I have had many Muslim friends who hate that they are under rules and want to do their own thing. There is no grace there!
Yet that is the same when we sin and groan that we have to be good.
We so need to grasp that we are under grace and not law.
Honestly, when I see people sinning and being unrighteous around non-Christians I get very concerned. But not for them, I don’t really care that much for the Christian, because I know they can repent and come back to God. I’m concerned about the non-Christian watching, and the opinions they create about God in that moment!
We can often do more harm than good when we lose integrity around other people.
Honestly I have to say that recently at my work I have lost integrity.
Recently I came to a place where I had lost my great work ethic and did not strive to work the best at what I did. It was enough for the manager to call me in and warn me about the way I was working. After that meeting, I felt so ashamed, not for myself but for God. I realised that I had lost integrity and therefore lost influence amongst my colleagues. Right where I was meant to be a light, I was creating darkness.
What would a boss do if a staff member was misrepresenting him?
He would fire him immediately, knowing that he is creating a bad image!
Imagine how Christ feels when we misrepresent him?
Has he not given enough grace that we may only walk in the light?
How are you representing God?