Be yourself.

People can sense a phony. If you want to share the gospel, living an authentic life—not a perfect life—is essential. The people you live and work around know the real you, so be yourself. Be a genuine Christian, not a person playing the part or acting a role. One devilish lie is that Christians can’t witness to people who know them well unless they live a perfectly committed life around them. Not true. Unbelievers know you aren’t perfect—so stop thinking you have to be. It’s better to admit your mistakes, apologize for them, and move on rather than try to hide them. Most non-Christians will respond positively, respecting your honesty and still being willing to listen when you talk about the gospel.

Trevor is trying to live out a Christian lifestyle at work. After a series of problems with his boss—some his fault, some not—he exploded in anger in front of his co-workers. He vented his frustration is blunt terms, including profanities he thought were erased from his vocabulary. Trevor called me, discouraged, feeling his witness was lost with his fellow workers. My counsel: go to work tomorrow, accept responsibility for your actions, and apologize. To his surprise, the response was positive among his co-workers who told him, “No problem, just forget it.” A genuine apology, expressed humbly, defuses conflict and restores most relationships. Your non-Christian friends know you aren’t perfect. Authenticity trumps duplicity every time, so admit your mistakes and move on.

Jeff Iorg, Unscripted

I have just completed a series of lessons based on Jeff Iorg’s book, Unscripted. They are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions, as well as part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription service. For a medium-sized church, lesson subscriptions are only $10 per teacher per year.