Walker Hayes Shows Christians How to Witness to Their Faith
Country music is often criticized for its simplistic lyrics and repetitive themes. The worst offenders are newer songs with more of a pop influence. In spite of a bad track record, this genre recently provided an excellent reflection on how Christians should live and share their faith. The song is called Craig and was written by Walker Hayes. Although most of Hayes’ music is far from what most people would consider “Christian” music, his description of his friend Craig shows Christians how we should attempt to witness to our friends and family.
The power of Craig’s witness in the song is that it makes Hayes, a man who claims he “hasn’t figured out church yet,” but wants to live a more holy life. Craig lives his life in a way that allows his friend to see Christ through him. Hayes says that Craig “is not the light of the world/But I wish that mine was bright as his/He might be tight with the man who is.” This is clearly something Christians should seek to imitate.
Is his song, Hayes points to two specific things Craig did that revealed Christ to him. First, Craig was welcoming when Hayes came to church for the first time. Hayes says that he “felt out of place and smelled like beer/but he just shook my hand/said I’m glad you’re here.” Christians are frequently reminded that they should be welcoming to strangers in church and most of us probably know people who have left church due to unfriendly parishioners. This is tragic because a church should be a place where sinners are welcomed. Craig provides a reminder of the power of welcoming a stranger.
However, being a true Christian witness requires more than a superficial niceness. We are called to love our neighbors as Christ loved us, which means desiring their good above ours and making sacrifices on their behalf. In doing so we imitate Christ, who endured torture and death for a fallen human race. Craig’s witness is much more powerful because he also sacrificed for Hayes. The song describes how Hayes lost a record deal and had his car repossessed. When this happened Craig bought his friend a new car. This is so far beyond what is normally expected of a good friend that Hayes can only attribute it to Craig’s Christianity.
This story is a good illustration of how Christians should share their faith. Craig lives his life in such a way that his friend whats to know Christ in the same way he does. This does not mean that Craig will save his friend’s soul, only the redemptive power of Christ can do that. However, by imitating Christ’s sacrificial love, Craig built a desire to receive this redemption in his friend. This is how Christians ought to live.