Tuesday, November 6, 2012

So You Call Yourself A Christian...

Many people today consider themselves to be a Christian. Maybe they grew up attending church with their family, perhaps they own a Bible, or maybe because they don't believe in any other religion they must be a Christian.... right?

Last week in our Bible Fellowship Class at church, the question "When you think of the characteristics of a Christian, what comes to mind?" came up. Individuals responded with their thoughts, which I loved and am going to share. However, I want to clarify that people may have these characteristics and not be a Christian and people who are Christian's may not necessarily have these characteristics. Words like servant, selfless, and humility were thrown out. I absolutely agree! And there are many more, these are just the few that were brought up in the last few minutes of our class time. 

My mind began churning and continued to do so as we sat in church service after class and listened to a sermon on being All In. "Jesus isn't looking for decisions, He's looking for disciples!" and "Jesus who gave His all for us, demands we give our all to Him." were some of the powerful words spoken by Pastor Ken Whitten that morning. 

The theme of the morning, for me, was overwhelmingly obvious... authentic Christianity. Too often, I see people who want their cake and to eat it too (if you will). They want to "be a Christian," while enjoying the fleeting pleasures of the world -- whether that be attending church occasionally while indulging in ... excessive drinking, promiscuity, living the "college life", seeking approval of others--no matter the cost, cheating, etc. That's called hypocrisy and I don't care who you talk to, but nobody likes or respects a hypocrite. 

As I left church that morning, I thought the first question posed in our Bible Fellowship Class -- "When you think of the characteristics of a Christian, what comes to mind?" would help us give ourselves good benchmarks. How would you answer that question? How do you measure up against the list of qualities that comes to mind? What areas could you grow in, to display more "Christian like" characteristics? It's easy to look at someone else and see how they are not living out those characteristics. We like to hold others to standards we're often times not willing to live up to ourselves! Give yourself a review and seek to grow in your relationship with Christ. As you press into Him, you will over time become more selfless, loving, humble, and serving.

"Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind." - Philippians 2:2   

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