In our interactions with others we can’t think of anything worse than being a “hypocritical preacher”, so we often work hard to walk in integrity, and also pull back from the proclamation.
Our heart hums when we hear “Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary use words” and we crack on with maintaining our character. We nod in agreement with, “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”, and carry on with the caring.
And then scratch our heads slightly when nothing much happens…
We wonder if it’s because we’re just not quite nice enough. If only our kindness would kick in to another gear then maybe it would all start to happen…
But there was a guy who did live in complete sinlessness until he was thirty odd. He loved God with all his heart, and his neighbour as himself perfectly. And nobody really took the blindest bit of notice.
His mum thought he was a bit special, but no crowds gathered, no one fell in repentance, the neighbourhood was unruffled and no conference invites came. Life just ticked over in Nazareth as it had done for generations before. The only record that remains of his life before 30 was the one time when he was perhaps perceived as being a little bit naughty.
Then he went to where he was a complete unknown, where he had no brownie points stacked up, where nobody knew how much he cared and began to preach, to speak, and to pray for people. And Galilee was utterly galvanised. The books about it are still the best sellers today.
Disciple, as painful as it is to our religious pride, the transformative power rests in the message, not our reputation management. If we want to see a harvest, we’ve got to sow the seed.
Praying for boldness today, to speak of the Kingdom to those in our path.