“But I don’t want to be offensive.”
I’ve heard this statement many times as it relates to living out the Christian life before non-believers–and specifically as it pertains to sharing your faith with them. I must admit, that on the surface, I completely agree with the statement. But just below the surface, there are a number of problems that arise. I wonder, do people say they don’t want to be offensive, just to have an excuse not to carry their Bible to work or school, or to not pray over their food in the cafeteria. Maybe it’s not the “offensive” nature at all, but that they are really just embarrassed about their faith… or about their Lord? Maybe it’s that they don’t want to be known as Christians because they know people will hold them to a higher standard. Maybe they’d even have to change some of their ways to conform to the world’s expectations of what a Christian is or does. Either way, it occurs to me that although Jesus was gentle, he was viewed as quite offensive to those who wanted nothing to do with him. The Apostle Paul… well, he took several stonings, and eventually was killed for his “offensive” witnessing. In fact, only one Apostle survived being martyred for Christ. Sure, witness to unbelievers in an inoffensive and gentle way, but don’t hide behind the mask because your embarrassed about your faith. Get out there and get busy… the World needs what you’ve got!
“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in Heaven.” Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 10:32-33)