“The greatest single cause of (unbelief) in the world today, is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” These are the very powerful words of Brennan Manning.
After speaking to a group of non-Christian students in an engineering college, a Ph.D. student came up to me and thanked me for the session I had just done on "Identity and Fear." He shared how the sessions had helped him personally to rethink his circumstances and funnily as evidence, he showed me his notebook.
Apparently he did not want to come but was compelled by a friend. The notes he was taking from my session initially were random scribbles and doodles, but as the session proceeded his handwriting significantly got better and his notes clearer than ever. He attributed that change to me. I knew immediately it had nothing to do with me, but God, because I have terrible handwriting.
But just when I was beginning to see scope for the gospel, he told me his Ph.D. guide, a professing Christian had borrowed money from him and refused to pay it back. He feared any use of other means to get it back might cost him his Ph.D. Here was a Christian professor not walking in the light.
While it might be easy for me to look at another Christian as the cause of someone’s disbelief, I might have forgotten my role in the chain of events. Our fellowship with other Christians must be a constant challenge of questioning one another whether we are reflecting the light of Jesus, or not.
John gives us a negative clue in verse 6. Positively, we can take it to mean we have to ‘practice’ the truth. Practice implies that we might fail. But it also implies, never to give up and a desire to improve. If we are walking in the light, we need the company of others to help us share the gospel more effectively.