The Power of Being Different and Confident
The Power of a Being Different and Confident
In Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2017), Josh McDowell shares how as a teenager he yearned to be happy and have meaning but couldn’t. He started attending church, but it didn’t help, so he stopped going. He tried education by enrolling in college, but higher education didn’t fulfill his aching desire either. Next, he turned to prestige. He got elected to various student offices, but the power he gained from them didn’t fill the emptiness he continued to feel inside.
About the same time, he met a small group of eight students and two faculty members who were different. They seemed to know who they were and where they were headed. Most importantly for Josh, they had conviction and happiness regardless of their circumstances. They also genuinely loved each other and people outside their group too.
After being around them for a while he learned they were Christians. At this point in his life he had no use for religion. But one of the girls in the group informed him that Christianity isn’t religion because religion is about humans trying to work their way to God through good works whereas Christianity is about God coming to us in Jesus Christ. When he continued to resist, the group dared him, a pre-law student, to examine the claims of Christ. He initially resisted the challenge because he thought Christianity could not possibly stand up to the rigors of careful academic scrutiny. Upon further urging from the group, Josh decided to accept their challenge by attempting to write a book to show that Christianity is a joke. He left college for several months to travel in both the U.S. and Europe so as to gather evidence in libraries and museums to bolster his case against Christianity. He found just the opposite from what he expected. The evidence for Christ was so overwhelming he simply couldn’t resist it, so he yielded to Christ and became a Christian.
During the following months his life changed dramatically. He stopped seeing people as rungs on the ladder to his success and began viewing them as people God wanted him to serve. God began to give him the ability to control his bad temper. And God gave him the ability to let go of deep-seated hatred and bitterness toward his dad, who was an abusive alcoholic, and to a man who sexually abused him repeatedly when he was a child. He even had the joy of leading his father to faith in Christ and mustered the courage to share Christ with his sexual abuser.
Over the years, through his speaking and writing, Josh McDowell has shared Christ and strengthened believers in ways few people have ever done. It all began when a small group of genuine, faithful believers simply lived for Christ day by day in front of Josh so that he could see in them what true Christians are like.
Take the time to look up the following verses and meditate on them to learn more about what it means to live differently and confidently before unbelievers: 1 Peter 4:1-11 and Philippians 2:1-11.