I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. —Romans 1:16
Are you ashamed? Culture tries to make us ashamed about our faith, portraying people of faith as stupid, insensitive, judgmental, and hypocritical. Are you ashamed? Are you willing to share your faith humbly and gently with those who do not know Jesus as their Lord? Are you ashamed? Your hero left heaven to come to earth and risk everything so that you could come home to heaven with him. This Gospel is powerful. This Gospel is transformational. This Gospel, and the salvation it brings, are for all people. So let's not be ashamed; let's be joyous and generous with this incredible gift that we have received.
Everyone has a favorite something. It might be the college football team you cheer for or a favorite restaurant. You might have a passion for a hobby or activity like golf or running. Or there is a particular television show that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Whatever your favorite thing is, you talk about it. You find ways to discover if other people feel the same way you do. You wear team colors or gather around at lunchtime to discuss the latest development on a show.
We are unashamed about those things for which we have a passion.
Christians have even more reason to put something on display for the world to see: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16, CSB).
As believers mature in their walk with Christ, they grow increasingly unashamed for others to know about their faith. They are unabashed in letting the gospel and its transformative power be on display in their lives.
LifeWay’s research into discipleship ministries and practices found that maturing believers felt it was not just appropriate but necessary for others to know them as Christians. When Christ is changing you, you want others to know about it.
Not surprisingly, as we develop in this attribute of an unashamed lifestyle, it only fuels and strengthens our growth in the other discipleship attributes. For example, living unashamed makes it easier to also exercise faith, share Christ, and serve others.
Even more so, we live out these qualities with intentionality. We want people to know why we can exercise faith and why we serve. All our actions flow out of our unashamed love for Christ and His gospel.
Living unashamed lives includes transparency. Maturing believers are OK with others seeing their weak spots. It’s not that they’re proud of those weak areas, but neither do they pretend to be perfect Christians.
In fact, they are quite willing to let other believers speak into their lives and help them along the path of growing in Christ. Maturing believers are unashamed about their pursuit of maturity to the level that they invite help in the process.
I began this article with a reference to the unashamed approach people have toward their favorite teams or interest. But being unashamed of our walk with Christ differs from the unashamed—boisterous, proud and obnoxious—behavior many fans display for their favorite team (I’m sure I’m not referring to the behavior of the fans of your team.)
The believer is neither arrogant about his faith nor derogatory of those who disagree. Instead, an unashamed believer lives by the principle in 1 Peter 3:15-16: “In your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. Yet do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15-16, emphasis added).
Living for Christ is counter-cultural, and it is becoming increasingly more counter-cultural. Mature believers do not shout at the darkness, but unashamedly live and speak for Christ. In the process, they can pique the curiosity of unbelievers and galvanize the lives of other believers.
And that’s nothing to be ashamed of.
PLEASE PRAY WITH ME
Holy Abba, please give me wisdom, sensitivity, and courage to share your wonderful story of grace with those around me who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. In thy Holy name. AMEN.
GOD BLESS YOU