A few years ago I heard the Mosaic LA church leader, Erwin McManus, say “…we teach what we know, we reproduce what we are!”. Throughout my life I have seen, over and over again, just how true this statement is. When any of us live life full-on for God and let His Word shape our lives, we get a lot more attention and many more opportunities to introduce our mates to Jesus. So much of this is about credibility and authenticity.
So the next value that I live my life by and want to share with you is: “I will be a man of nobility, integrity and honour. In doing this, I will make Jesus known to everyone I meet!”Right, I have a slight confession to make—it hasn’t always been this way. For a number of years I lived a bit of a double life. Publically, I was a man of God, believing all the right things, even condemning all the wrong things. Privately, it didn’t really match up, and you know what I could tell my mates about Jesus but it had zero effect—because I wasn’t letting His Word shape my life in the first place. The conversations that I had with my not-yet believing mates were few and far between and, when they did happen, I was just telling them what I knew in my head and not reproducing what was in my heart.
But one day that all changed! In a moment of self-realisation I knew that if following Jesus was for real it really did need to impact every moment of my life—both in the waking day and sleeping night. This was a 24/7 lifestyle and it would have a ripple effect right through into eternity.
Quite a few years ago I had a job as a UNIX/VME mainframe operator. The job was mainly shift work and by it’s very nature there were long periods where we were just waiting for the next thing to occur that we needed to respond to. In the works canteen there was a pool table, it was old and had definitely seen much better days. In these periods of downtime we would often go up to the canteen and play a few games of pool. Every one of us new that if you ‘wacked’ the pool table from a certain angle, all the balls would come out and you would save yourself two 20p pieces.
Very early on I decided that as a follower of Christ I would do two things ALL THE TIME:
- I would only play pool on my official break times.
- I would always pay the 40p that the table officially required.
I never demanded that anyone else do the same, but it was always my personal standard. Throughout my time in that job, I had many opportunities to tell my colleagues about Jesus and though I only led one person to faith, it was all worth it.
Before leaving the post, I asked that guy what was it that made him turn to Christ?
His answer still astounds me…
“You always had a bunch of 20p coins in your pocket!”
We reproduce what we are. I really am just an ordinary bloke, I don’t lay any claim to a larger than life personality, I am passionate but I am not that charismatic. I am an ordinary bloke in the hands of an extraordinary God. When we choose to do the ordinary, mundane things with nobility, integrity and honour, God smiles on it and he uses it to birth new life in those around us.
A while back I shared the Welsh phrase ‘Chwarae Teg’ with you—you can read Start Again if you want to know what it means. In the meantime, here is another one: ‘Dal Ati’. It means ‘carry on’ or ‘keep going’ – DON’T GIVE UP! So much of what we do when trying to win our mates for Christ boils down to simply being consistent, steadfast and doing the ordinary things with the heart and mind of Christ. God ALWAYS does the rest.
“I will be a man of nobility, integrity and honour. In doing this, I will make Jesus known to everyone I meet!”