No fear, no problem? Maybe not! The second way in which Christians frequently respond to unbiblical attitudes and actions is to attempt to correct the behaviors that are making us uncomfortable. Since these sinful habits make God “uncomfortable” as well, we stand with great boldness and proclaim to our unsaved audience how they ought not be getting drunk, sleeping around, or filching pens from the company cupboard. With great authority, we quote the Scripture which supports our position, forgetting that not everyone accepts the Bible as the perfect and infallible Word of God. And all in the hope that our unbelieving friends, classmates, and coworkers will clean up their acts just enough to make us comfortable sharing the message that God love us enough to forgive all of our sins.
The difficulty with this approach (aside from the clear logical disconnect between our efforts to “clean up” the behavior of others and the message that God, Alone, is equipped to deal with sin) is that it sees the Believer’s comfort as being more important than the unbeliever’s soul. Again, Satan has successfully drawn our attention away from Christ’s objective.
The Apostle Paul reminds us that:
“… we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:3-5)
Indeed, though it is sometimes difficult or uncomfortable to spend time with those whose lifestyle and upbringing differ from our own, sin is sin. It always has been. It always will be. By permitting Satan to magnify the sins of others and by actively minimizing our own sin, we lose our perspective, our focus, and the opportunity to share the Good News of the Gospel. In short, we lose the battle. And that isn’t what God put us here to do!
I eventually learned to keep my eyes on the road. Today, my driving skill is sufficient to prevent me from causing an accident by unintentionally wandering into the mailboxes which line my path. Likewise, by following the Apostle’s advice to “[fix] our eyes on Jesus” we are guaranteed that both our lives and our Gospel dialogues will stay on track. And that puts us well on our way to accomplishing God’s purpose for us in our homes, our schools, and our places of employment!