But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
Giving preeminence to Christ is greater than attempting to prove to unbelievers that He is real through apologetics.
A deep sorrow hits me when I see photos of how my children used to be. There’s a nostalgia about even who I used to be then, when the advent of motherhood visited me for the first time, now fourteen years ago.
What a joy it is to be called Mami by my children. They are 7, 10, and 14 now. All the birthdays of the year have come and gone. My husband and I are no longer eclipsed in age until March next year. We’re in a period of stability, of stillness, of steady flow.
One Mother’s Day, one of my sons treated me a Mother’s Day lunch that he saw advertised in the weekly insert. He’d prepared for the occasion, conferring with my husband, ensuring that I would get a free meal on Mother’s Day. The fine print said to bring my child, or a picture of my child, or tell a funny story of my child— just to prove my motherhood. My son asked how I would prove to the cashier that he was my son. I eased his anxiety and mentioned that the mere fact he’s with me should be enough.
You see, I don’t need to prove he’s my son, do I?
However, when it comes to our faith, we seem to want to default into apologetics, needing to prove to the world that indeed, we are children of a heavenly Father, that our Father is God, that He is who the Bible says He is.
I’ve learned through the years that I don’t need to prove the veracity of Christ to non-believers. I don’t need to advocate for Him before a jury of scoffers because He is not to be put on trial.
Putting God on trial makes man the authority over God.
Scoffers long ago made up their minds about the Lord and crucified Him.
However, this is not to be confused with sharing the Gospel. Evangelism and Apologetics are mutually exclusive.
Sharing truth and the good news of the gospel is what we as believers are called to do. We are commanded to: “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16: 15)
Make no mistake. Sharing the gospel is necessary to a world that is lost. Proving He exists to the non-believer is moot.
Because I cannot convince or persuade a non-believer to believe if he’s not willing to admit that he needs a Saviour, what good am I to prove that my God is the creator of all things, that He’s ordained all the heavenly bodies, that science is marked by His hand?
A non-believer has already predetermined that God is not who He says He is and thus it profits nothing to utilize apologetics to convince him.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
By faith, we believe, and we are sanctified continually as we grow in Christ.
The temptation is strong to debate with non-believers, to persuade them that God is real, to eagerly debunk their folly. But what really does that do for someone who loves their sin?
My attention and energies are given to those whom I have direct influence on: my children.
I disciple them alongside my husband as we homeschool, teaching them what the Bible says, applying it to the entirety of our lives:
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
We will fall short while in the throes of growing together in the Lord as a family, but we cannot forget God, Who by faith, saved us. When we fail, we can rest in knowing that all our energies are placed in putting Christ as the center of our lives and that is great gain. That is success.
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Psalm 1: 1-4