The story is told about the great 19th century English preacher Charles Spurgeon. Mr. Spurgeon was the greatest-known preacher in the world in his generation. His church in London packed in as many as 12,000 each Sunday. His sermons were published and distributed world-wide and read by the hundreds of thousands. He was comparable to Billy Graham of the past generation. The only Brit possibly more famous in his day was Queen Victoria. Possibly.
If you were
to read Spurgeon's biography (as I have) or his sermons or devotionals
you would know how greatly this man loved the Lord Jesus. His many
years of life following his conversion as a teenager were devoted to
proclaiming the Gospel and winning men and women to Christ. As much as
any modern man, Spurgeon was consumed with knowing Christ and sharing
Him with others.
But, Spurgeon was not perfect. Like all of us, he had chinks in his armor. One of which was his passion for a fine cigar!
One day as he was walking through a London neighborhood he passed by a tobacco shop. To his utter dismay the shop owner had posted
(I use that word intentionally) a sign on the window advertising a
certain brand of cigar with the tagline, "The cigar Spurgeon smokes".
was at that moment a tranformation took place in his heart and life,
for he never again smoked a cigar. "I will not allow that I be known
for my cigar preference. Rather Spurgeon's name should only be tied
with that of Christ". (My paraphrase.) Is smoking a cigar sinful?
Maybe not. But Spurgeon would not let his freedom in Christ to do so
become a stumblingblock to someone needing salvation.
we realize that our posts on Facebook reveal something of our character
and of our relationship with the Lord? I find it disarming when
believers display photos of themselves or make comments that lend to a
public persona that may not portray the living Christ within. What you
are doing in the picture or saying in a comment may not be "sinful".
But can it be a stumblingblock, causing a non-believer to doubt your
relationship with a holy God?
Let's be discreet.
People are watching and listening. Facebook can be a tremendous tool
for advancing the Gospel. It can also be a tremendous tool for turning
people away from the life-changing salvation Jesus offers if only by a
comment or ill-advised photo.
And whatever you do,
in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through Him. - Colossians 3:17