“I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhi wasn’t the first to express it and he certainly won’t be the last. And to be honest, I understand his sentiments.
“Christians aren’t perfect, we’re just saved.” It’s a popular bumper sticker and while it is true it is far too often used as an excuse for behaving badly.
Sometimes Christians can be rude and selfish and greedy… I’m sorry.
Sometimes Christians can walk right past others and not even give them the time of day, as if they don’t even exist… I’m sorry.
Sometimes Christians can look down their nose at others and judge them for their sins while ignoring their own sins… I’m sorry.
Sometimes Christians can be so opinionated about a subject that they won’t even listen to someone with a differing opinion… I’m sorry.
Sometimes Christians gossip about others… I’m sorry.
Sometimes Christians act one way at Church and a different way at work or at school… I’m sorry.
Sometimes Christians act like they have life all figured out and that their life is perfect even when they don’t and it isn’t… I’m sorry.
I’ve lived half of a century (now I feel old!) and in that time I’ve served four different churches and been involved with many, many others. This lack of consistent living is widespread and common.
I’m sure you can add to this list but you get the idea. And since I’m being honest I will admit that I’m sometimes guilty of these same things.
Being a Christian is more than wearing a title, professing certain beliefs, sitting in a church service for one hour a week and following a formula to have a ticket stamped for life beyond this life. It means actively following Jesus to become like Him. It means learning to think and believe and feel and act like Jesus more and more. It means loving God and others every moment of every day.
We won’t get it right all the time; but that’s no excuse for not giving ourselves to the journey of doing life with God and learning to love like Jesus. And when we get it wrong we need to own it and apologize for it.
Note to my Christian friends: If you’re reading this and thinking, “Yeah, but they…” Stop right there! Every person will one day stand before God to give an account of their life and their actions. NO ONE will be able to excuse their behavior by saying, “Yeah, but they…” We will be responsible for ourselves then so we might as well start being responsible for ourselves now.
One last confession: If my hope were in other Christians I would have given up on the Church and Christianity a long time ago. Some of my greatest blessings have come from other believers but so have some of my greatest hurts.
My hope rests in Christ Jesus alone! He is the only one who makes this messy, imperfect journey worthwhile.
Who is your hope in?
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.