The Attractiveness of Authenticity Contagious Christianity #4 Lk. 23:44-48
“Image is everything,” says a popular ad campaign. We know it because we live it! We work hard to project the right image and keep up the right APPEARANCE.
Shakespeare; however contended that “SUBSTANCE is everything.”
Good name in man and woman, dear my lord, is the immediate jewel of their souls.Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing; ‘Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands; But he that filches from me my good name Robs me of that which not enriches him, And makes me poor indeed. (from Othello)
“When I walked into church as a skeptical unbeliever, my ‘hypocrisy antenna’ was scanning the place for signs that people were just playing church. I was on the lookout for phoniness… because I felt I could use that for an excuse for rejecting both the church and Christianity…” --Lee Strobel
Solomon wrote“a GOODNAME is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than SILVERand GOLD” Prov. 22:1
Truth-seekers have an uncanny sense of what’s AUTHENTIC and what’s not—and what they sense will determine whether of not they’ll be attracted to the gospel message.
Most people won’t come right out and say it like that, but we’d better know they’re thinking it. They’re not interested in committing their lives to Jesus when the one trying to CONVERT them isn’t CONVERTED themselves.Christians are to BE good news before they SHARE the good news.
…to be a contagious Christian, we must first live our lives in a way that convinces people we have the DISEASE ourselves.It’s interesting and disappointing how few people outside the Christian faith speak POSITIVELYabout Christians and churches
What They Say About Us: • I know some Christians well. I’d have to describe them as sort of uptight and narrow. You know—really rigid types. (2) They’re sort of isolated. They keep to themselves. I don’t know them well because they’re in their own world. (3) I know some born-againers and I’ve got to tell you, they really bother me. I feel like I’m being condemned every time I walk by them. They’re just too self-righteous. (4) They’re so simplistic, rattling off Bible answers for every complex problem. (5) I think they’re mostly a bunch of hypocrites.
What We Want Them To Say: (1) Christians? They’re people with integrity and moral courage. (2) They’re full of compassion and kind to others, especially those less fortunate than them. (3) Christians tell the truth; you can always count on them to shoot straight with you.
Jesus’ Comment: He called us “salt” and “light” and said that, when we live right, people will “…see [our] good DEEDS and GLORIFY [our] Father in heaven” Matt. 5:16
Authenticity If you ask people what characteristics in others bother them the most, the answer that almost always tops the list is DISHONESTY. People are strongly attracted by SINCERITY. So one of the best things we can do to win others is to simply be REAL—don’t pretend to be MORE than we are or LESS…
Characteristics of Authenticity 1. Just be YOURSELF. There is someone out there who needs to come in contact with someone just like YOU—your personality, your temperament, your passion, your interests.
Characteristics of Authenticity 2. Be Real on the INSIDE. It’s not sin to show what we FEEL..
Characteristics of Authenticity 3. Be Forthright About FAILURES. People need to see authentic CONFESSION see Jas. 5:16
Characteristics of Authenticity 4. Live Like We MEAN It That’s with genuine conviction that makes us STANDUP when we should and SPEAKUP when we should, regardless of the COST.
The Roman CenturionLk. 23:44-48The centurion at Calvary was a spectator in history’s greatest drama. He watched as Jesus was nailed to the cross and publicly ridiculed, …saw Jesus maintain the INTEGRITY of His claim to be God’s Son and the Savior of the world, …heard Him pray for enemies and show compassion for His mother and for a thief…
It all led him to pronounce the greatest of all truths: “Surely this man was the Son of God.”
We want to be courageous, contagious Christians, don’t we? Then let’s be real people… who we really are… no more and no less than God created us to be. Let’s be honest with what life throws at us. Let’s humbly admit mistakes when we make them. Let’s courageously stand up for what we believe… tell it and live it with no apology to anyone. Such people will attract other people and provoke great interest in our Lord.