I’m Not Who I Used to Be

Ask someone her greatest struggle as a Christ-follower, and she’s almost bound to say witnessing. And ask someone about the toughest audience to whom to witness, and she’s almost bound to say family.

In this space, we focus on victorious life in Christ despite adversity. But here’s an inconvenient truth: You cannot be truly victorious if you are defeated in your witness. So for the next couple of posts, we’ll focus on boldly and effectively proclaiming God’s truth. Remember that even we will be held accountable before God for our stewardship. And what have you done with the gospel?

It is not Christ who gets in the way of our witnessing; it is self. So witnessing, like all spiritual disciplines, requires dying to self. 

“I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20

Faith is an active, not passive, force. It is not something that you simply store up greedily in your heart; it is a healing balm that you share with other sin-sick souls.

“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” – James 2:17

“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” – James 2:26

Or as the late singer-songwriter Rich Mullins put it, “Faith without works is like a screen door on a submarine.” Now there’s an image.

Either you share your faith or, by your silence, you proclaim your lack of it. So that helps us get over the first hurdle: us. But we’re still left with another problem: them.

You know them – the ones who constantly remind you of who you used to be (and sometimes still are), the ones who see judgment where you see love. It is easier to give up and maintain the peace than risk making family relationships – and let’s not forget seasonal family gatherings – awkward and strained.

But here’s what you need to remember:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are, therefore, Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17-20

As God’s ambassador, you tell them, “I’m redeemed. I’m not who I used to be, though I realize sometimes you still see the old me.”

“For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.” – Romans 7:22-23

Does this make us hypocrites? By no means! The only hypocrisy we could be guilty of is the hypocrisy of failing to live out what we believe. Do I have a witness?