One of the biggest fallacies I was taught was that as Christians our job is to always be trying to convert others to become Christians as well. The problem is I don’t see anywhere where this was modeled by Jesus. Sure, when He called His disciples, He told them to “Follow Me”. I don’t really think that was an evangelistic outreach however. If you disagree, try employing that same strategy at a local mall some Saturday. No, the way Jesus drew others into a relationship with Him was by loving them. He didn’t ask for anything in return. He loved us because that’s who He is. Jesus is love through and through. He cannot act otherwise. As His followers, this is how we should strive to live.
Here’s a simple fact we often overlook: If we want to draw people to Christ, then we must look like Christ. Jesus drew people to Himself simply by being who He was. He didn’t employ any “soul-winning” strategies or offer anything other than Himself to those who would follow. How amazing. How simple. What if our lives so looked like His that people would be naturally drawn to us? That is the call for each of us who call Him “Lord”. When we put our trust in Him, when we believe He is who He says He is, when we trust in the true character of God, His very Spirit comes to dwell within us. We now have Jesus inside of us; all of His love, all of His power, all of Him. That means we have every resource, ability, and responsibility to live as He did.
Too often we cop out of our duties by saying, “it’s impossible to live a perfect life.” Obviously, as sinful beings, there is truth there, but I think we use it as an excuse sometimes to not even try. I would agree that we cannot live a perfect, sinless life. But I’d be willing to bet that you’d agree that we could all get a lot closer to it than the way we are currently living. The truth is, we simply lack the faith and discipline to live as Jesus did. Remember, we have all of His power available to us. If we don’t use it then it’s because we either don’t have the faith to believe it is there, or the discipline to make use of it. After all, it’s easier not to live like Jesus than it is to follow Him.
Our mission is not to convert others to follow Christ. Our mission is to love others just as Jesus did. We are not to accuse or judge, but rather forgive and accept. When we allow the love and power of Jesus to flow out of us and into our everyday lives, we will draw people to His beauty and grace. We may be the only picture someone ever sees of Jesus. What do our lives show about our Savior? What image of God are we putting on display? Stop trying to convert people. Instead, love them no matter what. Love them like Jesus.