A friend of mine is processing his faith in a passionate and mindful way. He shared a bit of his frustration with me about how people of faith represent themselves. I had to agree with his assessment. I have been guilty of some of the things he mentioned. I offered my friend two comments.
I said as followers of Jesus Christ we were called to help society flourish as a result of our presence. If our presence does not have a flourishing impact, we have missed a key element of our mission. I also said we are called to speak the truth in love. Speaking truth without love is a failed message. More noise in the name of God without love is not what the world needs to hear. Love seeks the highest good of another person. The content of loving words is not always comfortable when first heard, but over time they will prove true.
The two things I mentioned should be the filters we use for our words and actions before they are initiated. If we can pause long enough to craft our words and actions around a flourishing content and the sound of truth spoken in love, the Lord will be able to open doors of influence for our lives we would never have imagined.
A life of faith is not supposed to be complicated. It is designed to be simple and intentional, reflecting the heart and mind of God in a world where people are looking for answers of substance and speaking the truth in love when led by the Spirit. If we can do those two things, we will offer hope and clarity for those who are looking for answers that matter, just like what happened in the conversation I had with my friend.