Is the relationship personal or private?

Our relationship with God through Jesus Christ is personal, but it is not meant to be private. There are aspects of our relationship with our lord and savior that are to be closed, however, we shouldn’t use those moments as excuses to deny our relationship. In many ways our covenant relationship with Jesus Christ mirrors our covenant relationship with a spouse in marriage.

Most marriages wouldn’t last too long if the only time we recognized our spouse is on the wedding day. Many couples spend thousands of dollars on their wedding day. The cost of the dress, the tux, the food, the facility, invitations, not to mention the venue and all of the other frills that go into a wedding. The cost can be enormous. How well will the marriage work if that was the only day that the bride and groom recognized each other? The same is true with our relationship with Jesus Christ. The price he paid for our salvation was enormous, it was so great that it cost him his life here on earth. The irony of this is he didn’t do anything to deserve the punishment bestowed upon him, yet does it make sense to ignore our relationship with Christ after all he has done for us? God forbid we would behave this way in our marriage yet we often do not recognize our behavior when it comes to Jesus Christ, all in the name of “keeping private.”

Jesus Christ said “How do you call me lord, lord but do not do the things I say?” — Luke 6:46Below are several scriptures instructing us to make our relationship with Jesus public but not private.

“One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers — Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew–throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” — Matthew 4:19 NLT

“And he was amazed at their unbelief. Then Jesus went from village to village, teaching the people. And he called his 12 disciples together and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil spirits.” — Mark 6:6-7 NLT And he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. — Mark 16:15 NASB

“No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.Luke 11:33 NASB

“So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full.” – Luke 14:23 NLT

“Then the 11 disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him — but some of them doubted! Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” — Matthew 28:16-20 NLT

This list of scriptures is not exhaustive, but the list does encourage us to share our faith. Jesus Christ also said, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” — Mark 8:38. So let’s stop hiding our wedding ring when it come to our relationship with Jesus Christ. Invite someone to church.

(Freeman is pastor at the First Christian Church in Steubenville.)