As I have been reflecting over yesterday’s post I had some additional thoughts that I felt led to share.
First and foremost, I want to clarify what I meant by “true Christian” as I do not want to be misunderstood.
- By “true Christian” I mean the difference between someone who is a Christian in name only and one who is a Christian who is actually committed to living for God through Christ. A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher Luke 6:40 (ESV).
- A true Christian is going to be committed to living a life of love: loving God and loving their neighbor as themselves. That doesn’t mean they are perfect at it, it doesn’t mean they don’t screw up royally. They do. But when they do they are upset about it. They are sad and repentant when they fail. I talk about that here.
To my Christian readers:
Witnessing is more than telling people about Jesus. If we share the gospel, defend the gospel, and debate the gospel but are not living it as we do, we are doing more harm than good. When we get rude, angry, and impatient with people we are “witnessing” to why should they believe anything we say? When we insist on our own way, rejoice when bad things happen to people who have been mean or angry with us, what does that show? Nothing good.
There is a difference between a suit and a costume. A costume is for dressing up as something you are not. A suit is for dressing up as something you are. Batman does not wear a costume. He wears a suit. Like a guy in a Batman costume who would rather sip his Mocha Frappuccino than stop the guy robbing the register shows himself to be the furthest thing from Batman there is, the Christian who is prideful and judgmental and looks down on those who are not shows himself to only be in the costume of Christianity. Christians do not need to dress up, they need to suit up.
To my non-Christian readers:
Don’t jump to the conclusion that Christianity is a bunch of malarkey just because you have met a bunch of lousy Christians. We all have. One does not prove the other. To stick with the Batman theme, the guy in a Batman costume who sips his Mocha Frappuccino while the register is being robbed does not prove there is no Batman. It may well lead you to conclude that the guy who is dressed up like Batman is not in fact Batman, but that is all.
You will know the real thing when you meet him or her. They will say what they mean, mean what they say, and not be mean when they say it. They will not cringe and run away just because you don’t agree with them or because they do not agree with you. You will become convinced by what they say and how they treat you that they really care for you as a person. They will treat you with dignity and respect…even when that dignity and respect is not returned. When they do screw up or are shown to be wrong they will apologize and ask for your forgiveness. They will be willing to talk with you, answer questions, and discuss issues with you regardless of whether you want to become a Christian yourself. They know that they are called to witness to what they know and have experienced, but that they cannot and do not “convert” people to Christianity. God does that Himself. In short, you will know them by their love. If you still think Christianity is a bunch of bunk after spending some time with someone like that—fine. But we reserve the right to love you anyway.