And for the other prejudices, it is true, there is no fence or security against jealousy, yet we ought carefully to avoid every thing that may be an occasion for it; as all secret converse with suspected persons, the doing any thing, that without sin we may forbear, which is singular, or may bring a disesteem on others, or mkae us be observed, or talked of; and, in a word, to shun all forced gestures, or modes of speech, and everything that is not native and genuine: for, let men think what they will, nothing that is constrained can ever become so natural, but it will appear loathsome and affected to others; which must needs afford matter of jealousy and disesteem, especially to prying and critical observers.
G. Burnet, in the preface to
Scougal’s The Life of God in the Soul of Man
If I am to be effective – if we, the church, are to be effective in our calling – our testimony must be genuine, and not forced. Any forced change on one’s part will only show how immature we really are, just how much our faith lacks. My walk must be genuine, transparent; it must be confessed in all to the level of truth in which I presently walk. I cannot put on a show, because it will be found out how false I truly am, and how much I wanted to be seen as something more than I actually wanted to be that something. No, instead, let the words of my mouth and the deeds of my hands be done in truth and with the love of the Son.
Is anyone truly effective on a topic they do not fully believe? How strong can anyone’s conversion be when it depends on one’s company? Could it be that it will not be Thomas who asks to see our scars, but rather it is our friends and family whom we misled?