A friend sent a video that I continue to think about. The point of the message: the Republican candidates are not winning elections because they don’t fully believe their message. The speaker asserted that most political speeches are written to advance the party line and a candidate is likely to express those beliefs for that reason. His theory is that the candidates who fully believe in their message and are passionate, have the best chance of winning. Could it be that recent statistics for Donald Trump might support this man’s theory? Whatever else you might say, Trump is passionate about his message.
I’m not including the video in this post because there was a lot about it that I wouldn’t endorse. I did find myself pondering the video on my morning walk and by the time I returned home, I had a blog post to write.
Os Guinness was interviewed by Christianity Today about his new book, Fool’s Talk: The Art of Christian Persuasion. When asked why he wrote the book, he gave this response: “Clearly we’re at a stage in Western history where we need the church to be persuasive. Public life has grown more secular. Private worlds have become more diverse, and we have a mounting hostility against us. If ever Christians at large and evangelicals in particular needed to be persuasive with people who are not open, it’s now. So I thought it was the time to write.”
That article, combined with the video I watched gave me pause. Are Christians today, even the evangelical Christians, lacking persuasive power because they are speaking a message they don’t fully believe? Are we speaking a “party line” without passion because we aren’t fully convinced of its truth?
There are three things I believe are essential if a person desires to maintain a strong, Christ-centered life. I call it, “The three Cs of Spiritual Strength.” I believe these steps would create a stronger, more passionate witness for Christ in our culture.
2. Be called. Sometimes people believe that word is only for people in professional ministry. Sometimes that word gets thrown around and used a little too lightly. Ephesians 4 is a passage that speaks about different calls that God might place on a person’s life. Paul begins that chapter saying, “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” As Christians we are each called to serve God in the giftedness he has provided us through his Holy Spirit. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Those good works are our calling. Could it be that much more Kingdom work would be accomplished and our lives would be greatly simplified if we limited our service to accomplishing what God has called us to?
3. Be committed. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Christians can stay very busy doing tasks and jobs that are about God, but may not be of God. A lot of things seem like a good idea, but are those things God’s idea? We need to work hard to maintain a commitment to our calling, and work at it with all of our heart. It is then that we are serving God, not man.
We need to be convinced about what we believe and called to the tasks we are doing. We should live each day committed to the purpose of God and the person of God. Once we are convinced of our message, called to our service and committed to God, we will likely become a more persuasive people.
Os Guinness said, “If ever Christians at large and evangelicals in particular needed to be persuasive with people who are not open, it’s now.” Do you agree?