We have been talking much in our Sunday services and adult classes about our influence for the good of the Kingdom. We are talking about it in context of prayer, and how that can affect the outcomes of those being brought to the Lord.
Also, based on recent conversations with friends, this idea of bringing people to know Christ is one that has been on my mind a lot. I know that I have long thought about what it is that makes people find Christianity appealing from an example perspective. In other words, what do people of "the world" see about Christians that would make them want what we have?
Watching others and how they relate, listening to how they talk not only about Christians but about people in general ..I realize that one thing that people seem to be attracted to is peace. Its joy amidst the struggles, and peace within the chaos that is life. They may not even realize what it is about someone, but that they "handle everything so well" or that "never complain".
I think that our stress levels can really work against our witness when we are in the world, and when we allow them to get to the point that we are not letting that peace shine through.
Thinking about Christians who have influenced you the most in your own life, are they people who seem frazzled, stressed out, constantly worried or anxious? Are they people who are always fretting, or seem on the verge of being out of control? I would guess not.
Peace, as a fruit of the Spirit (the effects of the Holy Spirit being in us, and God working through us) is one that is hard to hide. You cant fake peace (even with a smile on your face, most people can see through it) and true peace is something that is obvious to christians and non-christians alike.
I am not the best a sitting down with someone and reading scripture to them. But, I would hope that God in my life is expressed through the ability to remain peaceful even when things seem out of control. Afterall, its not me but the Spirit in me.
If however, I let myself be stressed to the max all the time, and that becomes what people see instead of the peace that underlies it ..what is that saying about God in my own life?
Why would they want that? How is that any different from any other person in the world today? ..from their perspective, there isnt much of one.
I think that peace speaks to those around us, and by decreasing the amount of stress we have in our lives and really seeking that peacefulness in our spirits we are making powerful our effectiveness as Christians for the Kingdom.