We’re never done growing. There are always ways in which we need refinement. We’re not flawless; we’re not Jesus.
I think the best way we can reach others with the Gospel message is by stopping ourselves from trying to save others and first fix ourselves within. We need to get our eyes back on Jesus and work on the ways in which we need to be right before Him. When people observe a life that is lived on fire for Jesus, fully fixed on Him, they’ll be drawn to know more. They’ll want what you have. When we become aware of our own deficiencies and Christ’s sufficiencies, we’ll be able to represent Him in a greater light.
There are times in my career when I’m able to represent Jesus by talking to a stadium full of people about my faith. There are postgame interviews during which I can reference Scripture. The Christian life is about being present in the moment and using every chance you get to share the love of Jesus with others. But we need to be alert and ready for when those opportunities present themselves, recognizing them for what they are and seizing the chance to represent Christ. We can only do that if God is on the forefront of our minds at all times.
How do we do that? It’s only Jesus, all the time. That doesn’t mean we’re sitting, holding a Bible to our chest all the time. But it’s about opening Scripture every chance you get. It’s also about the little things that come into your mind and heart — the promptings of the Holy Spirit that show you a different way.
When you feel an inkling that something you’re doing, or not doing, should change, write it down. Bring it to God. Verbalize it. Pray about that specific thing and see if God is calling you to make a change. If you think a conversation you have, a show you watch, or music you listen to isn’t edifying, bring it to God. Ask Him to show you a better way. Have the strength of mind to turn from what’s not holy and go to God.
You can’t have the world and enter the Kingdom of God. I use to say you have to make sacrifices, but I don’t even consider these sacrifices. You may lose fans or followers by choosing to put Christ first, but life with Christ is more fulfilling than anything else. Nothing even comes close! God will use your obedience to bring people together, win souls for the Kingdom and refine your own heart in ways you might never have expected.
For me, there’s only one way. Whether I receive any pushback for being a Christ-follower or not, I’m going to follow Him. Yes, there have been times when my flaws have been pointed out and I’ve been called a hypocrite by others. You know what? They’re right. I frequently fall short of the glory of God, but by having an awareness and humility to recognize this and admit my flaws, I have the opportunity to show others the grace that God extends to me.
As I dive deeper into my relationship with God and let Him continue to refine me, I hope and pray that others see Christ through me.
— Matthew Boyd, Detroit Tigers pitcher
Matthew Boyd is a regular contributor to The Increase and provides monthly articles and opinions. Check out Matthew’s Increase profile here: https://theincrease.com/author/matthew-boyd/
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