Be honest about your struggles.
People don’t need to think that when you became a Christian you instantly became immune to insults, crisis, losses, and just the day to day struggles of life. We are still humans who are exposed to difficult situations like everyone else. The difference is that we now walk through them with Jesus. And people need to see that Jesus does make a difference as we walk through temptations, physical or mental struggles, heartaches, losses, or any other circumstance. A word of caution here: You want to be honest but be selective with who you are honest. There will be events that every will know about but there are also certain struggles that you should be very selective of who knows about them. Those struggles you will only want to share with people that care about you.
Acknowledge when you mess up. Ask for forgiveness. Do normal things like fishing, eating out, playing sports, watching movies, hanging out with friends. Becoming a Christian doesn’t require you to isolate yourself in a hole. Quite the opposite actually. I think Jesus gave us the example of being very involved. Jesus was very active in the communities he went through. He went to the main gathering areas like the temple and the watering holes. The bible also gives different account of him eating at people’s houses. It’s okay to be a Christian and do normal things. Jesus did.
Don’t be one person at church and another outside of church. In another post I noted that Christians would never be perfect on this side of heaven, but that doesn’t mean it’s not something we should strive for. Our goal is not to trick anyone into thinking that we are Christians. Our goal is to walk hand in hand with Jesus and allow him to guide and change our lives. Acting like a Christian on Sundays might get you accepted at church but God still sees what’s inside. The danger in this dual personality is that we can trick ourselves into thinking that we’re okay and there’s no more work for the Holy Spirit to do in us. And on top of that, we cause non-christians to reject Jesus because of our hypocrisy.
I believe that People actually want to see a difference in Christians. They want us to be different in how we handle our finances, jobs, family, retirement, communities, friends, enemies, and etc. They want to see if the Jesus we trust in really makes a difference. Let’s see if an analogy helps us see this better? What would you think if someone you know talked about some miracle diet pill they’ve been taking for twelve months but you really can’t see any evidence of weight loss? What would you think if they tried to sell you some of those pills? I’m sure you would come up with a way to explain why you couldn’t take them. Same with Christianity, if there’s no difference, they’re not buying it.