October 6, 2011

Why Be A Christian?

What really separates Christians from the rest of the world? This is the question I have been asking myself lately. Not because I dont  already have my own ideas about the subject, but because I am curious to know what the mental status is of the masses.

For me, being a Christian, has everything to do with understanding and replicating, in my own life the ideology, theology, and compassion of Christ. After all, Christ was concerned with those in the community. People were drawn to Jesus Christ because he had something to say, but also because his actions had a huge and wonderful impact on those around him.  If we are to call ourselves Christians, followers of the life and teachings of Christ, then it should stand to reason that our lives should show some effectiveness in impacting the lives of others in a positive way.

Docile should not ever be the mode of operation for a Christian, who is attempting to live a life motivated by sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. This does not mean that Christians should be constant warriors, nor does it mean that Christians should be absolutely passive. But what it does mean that we should navigate the impact that our life has on those around us in such a way that we reflect what it is that we say we believe.

Lately I have found myself amazed at how many people who are good church attending Christians, but have no sensibility towards anything outside of their church and home. How can you effectively share the love of Christ when your only concern is for people who are already stepping inside the doors of the church?  Dont get me wrong, there are definitely some people attending church who are not necessarily followers of the teachings of Christ. So yes, there are lives to be impacted from inside the church, but there are masses of people who are walking this earth hurting, lonely and feeling disconnected from God, who could use some insight into how the Good News includes them.

Church as a community of believers is important to strengthening each other, both naturally and spiritually, as we all attempt to navigate this life, but we are also held accountable to the need for those who are not connected by a relationship with Jesus Christ. But in so many ways, church has become just the alternative to the club, where people show up for the ambiance, the music, networking, or just to be seen. Attending church should not have the same agenda as going out to the club. And wearing more conservative clothes does not mean the the agenda of your heart is right.

Church attendance should not be about proving to anyone that you are just as much of a Christian because you are always there. Church attendance should be about a desire to learn more about God through the fellowship and study of the Word of God in the presence of like-minded followers of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Hearing the preached Word is important because it should draw you in to realizing that God is waiting to receive you into a relationship with all that the Kingdom of God has to offer you both in this life, and in the afterlife.

 As Christians, our own relationship with Christ, has limited growth potential until we become active agents of Christ' love and concern for others, and not just the people that we like or the people that we think are worthy. If receiving the love of Christ was based on who was worthy, then none of us would be eligible. In fact, it is realizing how unworthy we are that leaves us in awe of God's willingness to love and provide for us.

Anyone who thinks being loved is based on meeting a certain set of criteria, has missed the entire point of receiving love.  None of us have received loved because we were deserving of it, we received love because of the heart of the giver of that love and the desire to share it.  It is a matter of desire that compels us to want to share the love of Christ with others. Once we truly understand the depth of God's love for us, we cant help but want to share this great love with others.

I am thankful to God that Love was not given to me based on what I deserved, but based on what I needed, even when I didnt know that it was love that I needed. God has blessed each of us with the opportunity to show the Love of Jesus Christ. It is time to stop holding on to what was meant to be shared --- for it is in the spirit of sharing this Love that we find deeper understanding of our own relationship to the Ultimate Giver - God.