Another excerpt from A Severe Mercy (Sheldon Vanauken, p.85), written before he accepted Christ:
The best argument for Christianity is Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians-when they are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths. But, though it is just to condemn some Christians for these things, perhaps, after all, it is not just, though very easy, to condemn Christianity itself for them. Indeed, there are impressive indications that the positive quality of joy is in Chirstianity-and possibly nowhere else. If that were certain, it would be proof of a very high order.
Oh how much there is for someone like myself to learn from unbelievers! Particularly about evangelism and accurately reflecting the face of God. Regardless of the spiritual state he was in when he wrote this, I call it a pep-talk! It brings fire to my heart-they do notice! Joy and certainty triumphs over doubt and sadness. Exhibiting the traits that God desires to see in me can catch the eye of, and maybe one day earn the oppurtunity to share the Gospel with the unbelievers around me.
This excerpt is a blessing!