One of the challenges in communication that I have identified has to do with the listener being able to get the thoughts of the speaker or the initiator of the communication It happens that what is heard might be very different from what is said because many people have a kind of “filter” in their listening or hearing which is created by their personal experiences in life or even because of the person speaking.
It is therefore not surprising when people disregard or refuse to listen to a message because of the messenger. No one in their right state of mind would want to drink from a dirty container even if told that it contains clean water.
This is a challenge that has been experienced countless times in the sharing of the gospel(good news)of Christ to unbelievers. One will realize that the admonition that we are to“bring fruit meet for repentance”(Matthew 3:8) and “do works meet for repentance”(Acts 26:20) is in the right place because the world is too quick to ascribe the word, HYPOCRITE, to any believer whose life is not consistent with his message. The unbeliever might not even grant one an audience if they realize that a messenger lives differently from his message. History has recorded that people have done a lot of negative things in the name of Christianity but a careful study of the scriptures shows that itis inconsistent with what Jesus Christ teaches His followers. There have been situations whereby people are not able to share the gospel when there is group evangelism in the area they live because of their way of life over there.
I find the truth that Jesus Christ is the Word of God to be very profound. His very life was very consistent with his message. He was actually his message personified and therefore our call as ambassadors of Christ is also call to a life of oneness with what we proclaim as the effects of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and the power of His resurrection. Paul asks us a very great question that, “Thou, therefore, which teachest another, teachest thou, not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?”(Romans 2:21).
Another thing worth looking at is the fact that some believers just accept a message to be true because of how popular the minister(messenger) is or because the minister has a large congregation. I am not saying that it is always wrong but history has taught us that this can have negative effects on us. As we are in the era of celebrating The Reformation that was initiated by Martin Luther about 5 centuries ago, I think it is right to chip in his very example. It was an era when believers just accepted what the church taught about salvation. It was until Martin Luther studied the scriptures himself did he stress the truth that salvation is by grace through faith and not of ourselves but it is a gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8)
The attitude of the People of Berea as seen in the Holy Scriptures encourages us to also check a message being communicated to us whether it is the Truth before fully accepting it. I believe that the fact that we are to“receive with meekness the engrafted word”(James 1:21) does not deny the fact that we ought to check the scriptures for ourselves because from that we will be firmer in our convictions and bear more fruit as we imbibe the word of God; both logos and rhema.
When a holistic transformation is seen in the life of a believer, it is a great way of reaching out to the lost to snatch them from the “kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of his beloved Son” by the power that has worked the transformation within us and outside of us.
I will plead with one who is finding it difficult to believe in Jesus Christ because of what a professing Christian or even a church has done to him to read the scriptures themselves and just utter sincere words of prayer that they want Jesus Christ to reveal Himself to them and I trust that the prayer will be answered.
Welcome to November and may the God of all grace have mercy on all of us and work in us both to will and to do His good pleasure to give FULL EXPRESSION TO ALL THAT WE HAVE BELIEVED.