I was born into a Christian family so basically it is all I have ever known. While I count this as an incredible blessing, it can be difficult in that the lines between what you believe and what you have always been taught can easily blur. So it is actually quite challenging to make a choice about your faith for yourself. And even if you have been a Christian your entire life, you can still be spiritually stunted. No matter where you are at…there is A LOT to learn. So today I’m talking about what it truly means to be a Christian.
It’s more than just a blind belief in God, attendance at church and memorizing a few verses. It’s more than just the way you relate to God…it’s how you relate to people.
I saw this quote on twitter the other day that said, “friendship isn’t about convenience, it’s about commitment.”
I think you should read that again and let it sink in. Did that slap you in the face a little? Well it did for me. Because I know first hand how easy it is to put my needs and wants above my friends. And I know that I’m not the only one…
Our culture is all about bettering ourselves. It’s about looking good, feeling good and climbing the ladder of success. We live in a selfish world. We chew people up and spit them out so that we can get ahead. We consume, steal and refuse to give up anything that makes us feel better.
Therefore, I firmly believe that Jesus’ message of humility and self sacrifice is as relevant today as it was 2000 years ago. But what exactly does that look like in the context of our lives NOW?…
What does it truly mean to be a Christian?
To live the Christian life means laying down our old life, society’s ideals and our precious pride, to serve others. It is uncomfortable. It is counter-cultural. It is- to those looking in- a crazy way to live.
To be a Christian means sacrificing convenience for commitment. You cannot have both. If you wish you follow Christ, this is the only way. Every day you must wake up and die to self. You must put others first…always.
It means giving up your time when a friend needs to talk. It means giving up your money when you see someone in need. And most close to my heart- it means giving up your pride, getting on your hands and knees and serving others.Following Christ means putting others first...always. Click To Tweet
God prompted me with this the other day in church. You know how He does that sometimes. Just when your ego starts to inflate, God will gently bring you back down to earth. Well, He reminded me of a time when I should have stepped in but I let my pride get the better of me.
It was during a lecture last year and my poor professor was standing up in front of the class speaking, when all of a sudden he started having one of those awful coughing fits where you can’t control it. (You know when you low-key feel like you are dying.)
He was coughing and coughing (and turning the most unflattering shade of red) while all of us looked down on this unfolding before us.
I thought to myself, ‘I’ve got water. I should run down there and give it to him.’
But of course I didn’t listen to that little voice in my head.
What if he didn’t want to drink from my drink bottle (bleugh germs.) What if I tripped on the way down there (quite likely.) Everyone in my class will be staring at me. I can’t do that. I won’t do that.
So I’m sitting there in church thinking… alright God, I get it. I should have just given him the water. But I didn’t. I can’t go back and change that, so what is your point?
And well, I think his point is this: ‘being a Christian isn’t about convenience, it’s about commitment.’
It is those silly, seemingly insignificant moments that require us to step out and be bold. It is doing what is right, even when it is embarrassing for us. It is looking like a fool in front of your class, your friends or your colleagues…because Jesus is and was a fool for us.
Can’t you see friend how foolish our God is? He sacrificed his one and only son for a bunch of no good sinners.
We can be bold because God’s love is bold. There is nothing weak, or pathetic about laying down your life for the ones you love.We can be BOLD because God's love for us is bold. Click To Tweet
We can embrace the embarrassment, because God’s love is embarrassing. He pursues our hearts with reckless abandon. He is rejected, forgotten and misjudged constantly and yet he continues to love us.
And we can love, because he first loved us. If you feel like there is someone in your life who is undeserving of your love, your forgiveness and your selflessness…remember what you were like when God first loved you.
You weren’t pretty, put together and easy to love. You were messy and broken, hurting and helpless. And yet, He forgave the unforgivable and loved the unlovable. There are all sorts of people in this world. Some are easy to get along with, and some are not. None of them are worthy of forgiveness, but because of grace through Jesus…all shall be forgiven.
So to me, being a Christian means choosing love, choosing forgiveness and choosing commitment over convenience.
Now tell me…
Have you ever felt foolish for being a Christian?
What is your favourite characteristic of God’s?