If there is one disadvantage we as Bible thumping believers might have; it would be the inclination for us to feel we have the inside scoop on what's what. We have this inclination because we have been taught and exhorted in every Biblical principal man was able to find and interpret. Our forefathers saw to that.
They saw the need for those of our faith to get away from the belief that only Priests and Popes were worthy to read the Holy Scriptures and to interpret them to ordinary people. And aren't we glad they did?
However, along they way, a certain strength begins to grow into a pattern and we become confident in what we know to be the most righteous ways of doing things. We get blinders on and have trouble seeing/hearing the teachings of Christ in our endeavors to being a holy set apart people.
We tend to think we can only be a missionary if we are in a foreign country and living a miserly, miserable life. We become overly cautious to keeping traditions going and to continue the ways that have always worked. Fear smites the heart of anyone who would venture to do things in an unconventional way.
If you think about it, those are exactly the kinds of things Jesus scolded the Pharisees for doing. Jesus sat with sinners and asked "us" to be fishers of men. How are we gonna be fishers of men if we will only associate with the polished, the educated, and the politically correct people of our secluded faith? How do we expect to share Christ's love if we refuse to dirty ourselves with the "unclean"?
I don't have a five step plan for improving this problem. Just this: It is very Biblical and Christlike to show everyday, humble kindness. Simple acts of kindness whisper the name of Jesus into the hearts of people much more quickly than living an aloof, pure life.
I recently watched this film about Mother Teresa. I think she had the right idea... The Letters ...Tap on the link for a preview... Living simply, feeding the hungry, helping the dirty, stinky, mean, and sometime ugly people within your view. Maybe your person is rich and self sufficient. Those people crave kindness and friendships too.
Challenge: Stop over thinking your testimony of living a pure and undefiled life. Start doing the things right outside your window. Stop refusing to let those who think differently than you into your homes. Start believing that Jesus has the power to change everyone. He can do it through you if you stop pinching your nose and holding yourself apart from those who were not taught to obey every Biblical principal as you were. He can change people through your kindness, one simple little deed at a time.
Remember, you aren't the one who changes lives...It's Jesus. And in case you were wondering... I don't have it down pat. I need practice too, but I do believe this heart cry is a calling every Christian should be working to fulfill wherever they live, whatever they do...
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this; to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:27