“We are not in a scientific age anymore. We’re in a relational age.”

People these days are not satisfied to simply be given facts about God or creation or whatever else. They have grown past that, into this space of believing in what they can see.

And so, to show them who God really is and what attributes He has.. we have to live it out in our lives. Which we really need to be doing anyway. We have been called to imitate Him [Ephesians 5:1-2]. To live as He lived [1 John 2:5-6]. To love others as we love ourselves [Matthew 22:36-40].

It is easy to find ourselves getting caught up in all the rules, all the dos and don’ts, so that that becomes our focus. And then we begin to neglect what is at the heart of loving God.. which is the fact that, when we’re loving Him — really, truly, honestly, with our lives — it is going to show. We’ll build relationships with others, drawing them in so that they want to know this God that has changed our lives. We’ll live a life worthy of the calling we’ve received [Ephesians 4:1-2]. Not one that simply exists under the name “Christian” but really has nothing to do with the One we say we worship. We will no longer have a life that shows no evidence of our hearts belonging to Jesus, but rather one transformed by the way He has changed us from the inside out [Romans 12:1-2 ].

Others are going to see this transformation in our lives. They will see this genuine love and concern for others. Without this realness, we’re just more hypocrites giving Christianity a bad name.

But when we’re living with God as the most important One in our lives.. it will show. Because the fruit of the Spirit is love. It’s joy. It’s peace and patience. Kindness and goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. It’s self-control [Galatians 5:22-23]. It is stuff that stands out when we demonstrate it in our lives.

People notice when we go of our way to build a relationship with them. They notice the difference between building a relationship and shoving facts in their face that will only create arguments. And they are so much more likely to listen to us when we’re willing to take the time to listen to them and be their friend. When we really sit down and talk with them rather than handing them a tract and never speaking to them again.

I know I write quite a bit about this same topic. But.. it is something that is continually presenting itself to me and that constantly needs to be explored.

The quote I used at the beginning of this post is something a professor at my school said last week. We had just run a huge cookout as a campus crusade ministry, giving out free food to anybody who came through the line. We walked around talking with the people who came out for our cookout, and then afterwards we sat and discussed how it had gone.

I felt bad for not getting around to talk with more people than I did, as I spent nearly the entire time sitting with a lady I’d not seen in probably a year and a half. We sat and talked.. catching up on life.. but mostly, I just listened. She was in need of a friend, a smile, someone to listen and just be there. And so.. I did.

And really, that is what it takes. It takes time and relationships and smiles and just listening. It takes love.