Stop Telling Me You're A Christian
As much as I love to see those Facebook Memes and Instagram Reels about God's unconditional love and hope for loving one another like Jesus did... I've reached the point in my life and witnessed enough lately that they are now just words to me. I don't ever know if there is really anything behind them or the person posting it...
It's one thing to say them. It's a totally different thing to LIVE them.
This is probably a dangerous thing to write about because I have a lot of "Christian" friends, but I have recently noticed a profound difference lately between saying you're a Christian (talking like one) and then living like a Christian (making choices like one).
The difference is... when you live like a Christian, you don't have to talk about it much.
In fact it is even more amazing to have someone come up and ask you why you are so happy, why your life is so good, and why you have so many blessings! That's when you can tell them more about your faith and what it has done for you... and what you have done for your faith!
I have been thinking about this heavily for the past two months. I was talking with someone recently who told me that she will ONLY do business with Christians. My eyes got big and I said, "What? Why?"
She said that she tried doing business with some people that were not Christian and it was the most terrible experience ever and she got burned.
My immediate response, without even thinking was, "Be careful with that... the most 'Godly' man I've ever encountered - meaning he went to church every Sunday, was a part of the Knights of Columbus, volunteered at the Catholic School, sports, events, and fundraisers, and seems to be the nicest most friendly guy... was also the most emotionally and psychologically abusive person I've ever encountered behind closed doors. Just because someone says they're a Christian, doesn't mean they are."
And then there are people like my Pappa... I don't even know if he was a Christian or not. He didn't go to church. He didn't ever talk much about God or Jesus. And he certainly didn't brag about himself and his good deeds. Now as far as a GOOD man goes... he's the best man I've ever known. Loyal, honest, hard-working, loving, intelligent, and a true servant. There's nobody in their right mind that wouldn't jump up on the spot to help Bob Hayes if he asked, and that's because he led by example and did the same for others.
In this scenario, you can keep the Christian... I'll take the other guy any day!
Now if I had to guess... I'd say Pappa believed in God. He may not have believed in organized religion, church every Sunday, or confessions once a week... but he LIVED a life worth being a part of, and worth wanting for myself!
The most astounding compliment in life is having someone trying to do what you do and believe what you believe because they SEE your life and WANT what you are experiencing.
My dear friend just informed me that she wanted to join RCIA... this is a sort of schooling/initiation process for Catholics so that they know the depth of their faith before they are a part of it. It's actually quite beautiful and it was my favorite part of my faith journey!
I asked her why she was joining and I'm paraphrasing, but she said she watched the way I lived, the faith I had, and the choices I made and wanted to live that same life. She knew without me constantly boasting or talking about God that I was a faithful Catholic and loved the Holy Trinity by the way I LIVED!
Nothing turns non-Christians (and even good Christians) off like constantly talking religion. Believe me, I've heard it a lot lately. Christians who believed with their whole heart at one point are now completely destroyed by other Christians who have criticized, condemned, judged or even have just given terrible advice based on "what the Bible says". Christians are destroying Christianity... by talking too much.
So do the faith a favor next time you think about boasting about your religion and your faith... make sure your actions are behind it. Make sure you are listening to your neighbor's painful experience and be there for them. There's a reason why they strayed... and it is NOT God! I'm not saying you have to uphold or encourage or even agree with what they believe right now. But when you choose to accept the person behind the experience and love them where they are at... you'll speak VOLUMES for the glory of God and your faith versus shaming them and telling them they need to get their act together. Appeal to them with your life, your choices and your love. No more fighting about the one thing that can universally bring us together.
One God, Indivisible, with Unity and Justice for ALL.
Disclaimer: I'm not saying to relax your boundaries or to let people walk all over you. I'm telling you to be more aware of what you're saying with your actions instead of your words. Never allow someone to walk over you, break through your boundaries, or guilt you into compromising your beliefs or yourself. You are valuable, you are intelligent, and you are faithful. If you read through this whole blog, you are the people that will turn Christianity around. Keep living life the way you've been talking about it and you'll start appealing to those who need to SEE what a life of Faith looks like... It it will look GOOD! And they will want it!
Post Disclaimer: I am not a perfect Christian and I make mistakes every day! I am in no way saying that I am any better than anyone! I just choose to live my life as an action testimony of an imperfect, fallible human being rather than fill people's heads with my words when people only hear what they are already thinking anyway! You'll never change someone's mind by telling them what to do! I promise.