I read this quote this week, "Who you are speaks louder than what you say." I've been thinking about this quite a bit. Who we are is a huge deal. In an environment where scandals among the "religious leaders" seem to just keep coming, integrity is not just important, it is non negotiable if we want to break through the walls of skepticism that many understandably have with the greatest news ever told. This is especially true with young people. They don't see the world through rose colored glasses; they've seen too much political, religious, and celebrity scandal to think for a second that everything is fine. It is more likely that they suspect all is not well and if we try to say it is we're either talking down to them or outright lying.
And so I come back to the original statement, who we are speaks louder than what we say. We have to show those around us that Christ is our greatest treasure, even when, no especially when, our circumstances stink. How tough is it to say Christ is great when all is well? The health, wealth, and prosperity preachers have made quite a living off of that. But does their message translate to the Christians in jail for their faith? For those worshiping underground because of religious or political persecution? Not so much, but the gospel of Jesus does. Christ's promises reach far beyond this broken world and extend into the new heavens, new earth, and through eternity. If we believe that then our lives should show it. Yep, easier said than done, but "all things are possible with God." In fact it would be worth the time to check out that whole passage, Matt 19:23-30 and see where Jesus directs the apostles attention.
So my encouragement to you (and myself) is this, focus on the right things, lighten up about the things that have no eternal significance, and let's commit ourselves to showing and telling others how great Christ is. Lord, let this be our one great passion!