He was in the homes of some ten million Americans every night. NBC's TV news anchorman. That voice that millions trust.
Or did trust.
The most experienced, most watched anchorman in the country now faces that worst possible question - "Can we believe him?"
Because of dramatic stories he's told about his assignments in the Middle East and during Hurricane Katrina. Except in different tellings, he's given different accounts. Accounts being challenged by people who were there. He's lost the one thing a man with that kind of influence can't do without.
If you're reporting important news, credibility is everything.
Especially if that news is life-or-death information. From God.
The Gospel, it's called. Or "Good News." It is the only News in the world on which eternities depend. The Bible says, "This Good News about Christ...is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16 - NLT).
And every follower of Jesus is God's embedded reporter of that News. To the people in their circle of influence - at work, at school, where you live, where you play, where you shop.
"He gave us this wonderful message...we are Christ's ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, ‘Come back to God!'" (2 Corinthians 5:19-20).
And when you're the one responsible to report the Ultimate Story - God's Story - there's one thing you can't afford to lose.
Because your life doesn't back it up. A person has to first trust the messenger before they'll trust the message.
So most people who come to Jesus do it because of a Christian they know.
And most people who reject Jesus do it for the same reason. Because of a Christian they know.
My life is either a magnet that attracts a lost person to Jesus - or an excuse for them to walk away from Him. And possibly into an eternity without Him.
I need to constantly ask myself, "What is there in my life, my talk, my attitude, my treatment of people that contradicts what Jesus is like?"
Like lying. Talking behind someone's back. A short fuse. A dirty joke. A mean spirit. "Checking out" women. Hurting words. A "me first" vibe. A critical spirit. No time for the wounded one.
And if I've lost their trust by my hypocrisy, I need to seek their forgiveness. Because I failed to show them how real Jesus is.
I want to be a reason for people to trust Jesus.
Because they could trust me.