In his powerful book The Holiness of God, R.C. Sproul observed that unbelievers often feel uneasy in the presence of an obedient Christian. The holiness of God reflected in a believer’s life makes the non-Christian uncomfortable. Sproul then told the following true incident to illustrate his point.
A well-known professional golfer was playing in a tournament with President Gerald Ford, fellow pro Jack Nicklaus, and Billy Graham. After the round was over, one of the other pros on the tour asked, “Hey, what was it like playing with the President and Billy Graham?” The pro said with disgust, “I don’t need Billy Graham stuffing religion down my throat!” With that he headed for the practice tee. His friend followed and after the golfer had pounded out his fury on a bucket of golf balls, he asked, “Was Billy a little rough on you out there?” The pro sighed and said with embarrassment, “No, he didn’t even mention religion.”
Sproul commented, “Astonishingly, Billy Graham had said nothing about God, Jesus, or religion, yet the pro stomped away after the game accusing Billy of trying to ram religion down his throat.” What had happened? Simply this: The evangelist had so reflected Christlikeness that his presence made the pro feel uncomfortable.
I wonder, do unbelievers sense our godly influence? If we are identified with Christ and walk in holiness, they will – before we even mention religion.
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