A couple weeks ago my pastor shared a quote that I have since found to be thoroughly true and deeply convicting. It comes from the personal assistant of Albert Einstein, Charles Misner, and explains why Einstein was so disinterested in formal religion:
“The design of the universe is very magnificent and shouldn’t be taken for granted. In fact, I believe that is why Einstein had so little use for organized religions, although he strikes me as basically a very religious man. Einstein must have looked at what the preacher said about God and felt that they were blaspheming. He had seen much more majesty than he had ever imagined, and they were just not talking about the real thing. My guess is that he simply felt that the churches he had run across did not have proper respect for the Author of the Universe.”
Misner’s words could not be more true. Oftentimes our preaching lacks credibility, not because we are hypocrites, but because we are utterly unconvincing. Many people don’t believe us because they don’t see the awe that we would logically have if we truly knew what we were professing. Non-Christians can tell that we are trying just as hard to convince ourselves as we are trying to convince them.
But what is the solution to this inauthenticity? The answer is not to become better actors, but to genuinely fall more in love with Christ. To understand this distinction, I am reminded of my past romantic relationships. No matter how hard a guy tried, I could always tell if he wasn’t really into it. Even if he went through all the right motions and said all the right things, I could still tell whether or not the actions were genuine.
Real, head over heels love, on the other hand, is unmistakable. A guy will have stars in his eyes, he can’t stop smiling, and can’t stop talking about the girl that he loves. There is no faking this kind of emotion, and it is the same with God. We must be totally enamored with God if others are to believe us when we speak of His faithfulness. Otherwise, our words will ring hollow.
So how do we fall in love with God in an authentically passionate way? By spending time with Him. The more we read God’s Word and the more we go to Him in prayer, the more we will realize why the angels sing “Holy, holy, holy” and why David wrote volumes of Psalms about His glory. If you know God, truly know God, you will be unable to help yourself–you will fall hopelessly and madly in love with Him. And when we do, people will not only notice, but believe.
Risk helps, too – taking a risk in trusting God. That’s what developing trust is all about anyway, isn’t it? Taking one risk after another and trust is developed as each risk pays off.