I. Like secret agents of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), you and I have been given an important mission.
A. The difference between us and the CIA is they have to construct fake identities and disguises to conceal their secret mission, whereas our mission isn’t a secret and doesn’t require secret identities. In order to complete our mission, we can’t wear disguises. We have to be REAL.
II. For a second, really focus on the fact that this mission is from God for you.
A. How do you feel about that? Excited-scared, confused-not prepared, uninterested?
B. Our mission can be scary! Especially if:
1. You’ve never talked with anyone about your faith before.
2. You’re not sure what to say or how to say it?
3. You have questions of your own, so you’re not sure you’d be able to answer someone else’s questions about God.
4. You’re wondering if you’ve made too many mistakes to be taken seriously, like maybe you need to start living differently before you can start talking about Jesus.
5. Or, even maybe you’re just not interested. Your faith isn’t that important to you right now, so why would you bother talking about it?
6. For the next few weeks, we’re going to talk about all of these questions, worries, and hesitations. Our hope is that you will feel more prepared to share your experience with Jesus.
III. Think about a time you thought you had to be perfect in order to share your faith.
A. Maybe you passed up a chance to talk about Jesus because you worried your life wasn’t perfect enough or you wouldn’t know how to respond to someone’s questions.
B. At times we did share our faith but pretended to be more knowledgeable, confident, or righteous than we really were because we thought that was the key to accomplishing our mission.
C. Listen to the story Jesus told about a pretender and an honest guy. Think about who God accepted. (Luke 18:9-14)
1. The Pharisees thought being perfect and knowing all the answers was the best way to follow God and to share their faith, but Jesus celebrated the man who was real.
2. He was honest about his shortcomings and failures. The Pharisee was arrogant and tells how holy and righteous he is and all the things that he does for God.
3. Stop and imagine these two men sharing their faith with you. With which person would you connect and identify?
IV. Listen to Galatians 6:1-3
A. You don’t have to be perfect to participate, just real.
1. Don’t pretend to be perfect when you’re not. (Because you’ll never be perfect.)
2. Don’t pretend to know more than you know.
3. Don’t pretend to be more confident than you are.
4. Jesus isn’t looking for experts to join Him on His mission. He’s looking for you.
B. To join Jesus on His mission, take off your perfect Christian disguise and be authentic.
1. Build trust,
2. Build relationships,
3. Build credibility, and
4. Be real.
a. Be real with yourself and honest about your questions, weaknesses, struggles. You’re not perfect, and you don’t have to be.
b. Be real with God. Be honest with God about your weaknesses and ask Him for help.
c. Be real with others. Be honest about the ways you’re still growing, changing, and even struggling. It won’t compromise the message of Jesus you want to share. It will make it more attainable.
People don’t need to see a perfect you. They need to see what a perfect Savior can do in the life of imperfect people like you and me. So be your true self and watch what God will do with your real and imperfect story.