From My Heart

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6 -NIV

The Charge Against You: Being a Christian

I looked up the definition of Christian in a dictionary. One definition was “one who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ. Another entry is, “one who exhibits a spirit proper to a follower of Jesus Christ; Christlike”.

I heard a report of a survey taken on a university campus. Two questions were posed. The first being “What is your opinion of Jesus Christ? There were no negative responses. Although many did not see Him as their savior they did say He was a good man, He was kind, He cared for others. ”The second question was “What do you think of Christians?” A large percentage gave a negative response.

Are we who claim to be Christ followers adhering to His teachings? In John chapter 14 Jesus is speaking to His disciples telling them that He won’t be with them on earth much longer. He is giving them some final instructions and words of wisdom; things that He believes to be most important for them to understand. In verses 34-35 He says “A new command I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” From the survey report taken on the university campus it seems that Christians aren’t doing a very good job of showing the world we are Jesus’ disciples.

People still hold grudges against their fellow-Christians. People still argue in the church to the point where they have had more hurtful things said to them inside of the church than outside of it. Others have said that there is more unconditional love in the local bar than in the church. That pains me to hear these things. We are supposed to ambassadors for Christ!

Now we come to the question of how we treat others outside the church walls. Do our daily lives reflect the life of Jesus who we claim to follow? Jesus is known for kindness, compassion, service to others. How are we carrying on His work?

God has been pressing me to take a good hard look at my own “followership”. I am checking my attitude, my words, my actions toward others and especially my thought life. I certainly have not reached a state of perfection. I still let careless words escape out of my mouth; oh how I wish I could take those back. I have been erasing the “record of wrongs” for I am daily reminded that Christ doesn’t keep that record about me.

Here are a couple of passages out of God’s word to contemplate.

“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Galatians 3: 26-27

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:1-5

How do you treat the people you encounter, how do you prioritize your days, what is the driving force behind everything you do? Believe it or not what you do will impact everyone around you. It’s more important than you think.

I would like to pose a question I have heard a few times “If you were charged with being a Christian would there be enough evidence in your conduct to convict you?” Will men know we are Jesus’ disciple by the way we love?

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