Most Christians I know are disappointed that their family and friends aren’t Christians also. We have discovered the joy of knowing Christ, why can’t they? Why are they so uninterested, even antagonistic towards Christ and Christianity? Why can’t they see what we see in Him?
Is it our fault, we wonder? Have we been too pushy, too much of a Bible-basher, and turned them off? Or maybe we’ve been too timid, frightened to even let them know we are Christians?
Or maybe we’ve been too much like the world – or not enough like the world – to please them and get their interest?
Or how about, we don’t have enough faith to claim them for salvation? After all, doesn’t one of the Psalms say, “Ask of me, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance”? Why don’t I have enough faith for that?
But you know, Jesus had this problem 2,000 years before us. John 7:5 tells us that “not even His brothers believed in Him.”
That’s pretty amazing. These are people who lived under the same roof as the Son of God for all their lives. And they didn’t see anything about Him that stood out.
In fact, it’s not just that they didn’t believe in Him. Mark 3:21 says that they thought He was insane.
19th century Anglican bishop JC Ryle made the point that “seeing Christ’s miracles, hearing Christ’s teaching, living in Christ’s own company, were not enough to make men believers.” Little wonder, then, that our families “don’t get it.”
But we need not beat ourselves up over this situation. We are not responsible for their salvation. God is. And we can’t overrule God.
JC Ryle goes on to say, “The true servants of Christ in every age will do well to remember this. They are often surprised and troubled to find that in religion they stand alone. They are apt to fancy that it must be their own fault that all around them are not converted like themselves.”
“They are ready to blame themselves because their families remain worldly and unbelieving. But let them look at the verse before us. In our Lord Jesus Christ, there was no fault either in temper, word, or deed. Yet even Christ’s own brethren did not believe in Him.”
If we have done our best to represent Christ well, then we need to leave the results in the Lord’s hands. Pray for them, love them, serve them, and speak to them of Christ when the opportunity arises.
Christ can change a heart in an instant. He did it when He saved you. He can do it with your family. His own brothers eventually became believers, even leading the early church and contributing to the New Testament. So don’t beat yourself up. And continue to trust Him for the salvation of your family, your friends and your workmates.