Summary: Being a Christian isn’t like wearing a winter coat, one minute we put it on because we’re cold, and then the next minute we take it off and store it away until harsh weather rolls in. Yet that’s how many of us act. We pull out our church clothes, our chur
Do you ever feel like you are just going through the motions of being a Christian?
Being a Christian isn’t like wearing a winter coat, one minute we put it on because we’re cold, and then the next minute we take it off and store it away until harsh weather rolls in. Yet that’s how many of us act. We pull out our church clothes, our church faces and we act differently than we normally do the other six days a week.
But acting like a Christian is worlds away from what it really means to be a Christian. If we simply try to imitate Christ’s external behaviour—being kind, compassionate and merciful without strengthening our spiritual core—then we risk missing out on the very process that makes us Christlike. Often we end up acting like a Christian sometimes, but not truly being a Christian at all times.
There may be times when you find it difficult to reconcile God’s truth to your own opinion or worldview, God’s truth is eternal, it does not change, our understanding of the truth does change as we allow God to work in our hearts and minds.
These sessions are not about opinion, they are about learning truth, the truth contained in the Bible, together we are going to focus on how we apply God’s truth, black & white in a grey world. To set godly priorities, grow in Christian character and live according to God’s standards so that we are a living witness to others.
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
How do we make the change from acting like a Christian to being a Christian?
We begin with our first true love, the Lord.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
By refocusing our attention on the Lord, building an intimate relationship with Him and spending less time going through the motions of what we think a Christian should be, we are able to concentrate on His goals, plans and directions for our lives.
A small child, sitting in church asked his father, “Dad, what is a Christian?”
The father replied, “A Christian is a person who loves and obeys God. He loves his friends and neighbours, and even his enemies. He prays often, is kind, gentle, and holy, and is more interested in going to heaven than in all earthly riches. That, son, is a Christian!”
The boy looked puzzled and thought for a minute, then asked, “Have I ever seen one?”
“If we are going to be authentic and relevant, we must embrace truth and allow it to transform us at our very core.” John Bevere
“This generation is desperately searching for something authentic. People are always watching us. They are watching us to see if we are the real deal. Without a transformed heart we can never be the light that the world around us so desperately needs. Stop acting and start being!” Joyce Meyer
Stop acting like a Christian, just be one!
Many of us struggle with living each day as authentic followers of Christ.
We don’t understand why we seem to do okay for a week after hearing an inspirational message, but then fall back into old patterns of behaviour, promising wholeheartedly that we won’t shout at the kids again, be rude to our spouse, react in traffic and the list goes on. Often we find ourselves unable to sustain our resolve and we fail to control our actions (again!). As a result, we feel terrible about ourselves. There seems to be a never-ending cycle, many people give up trying or, worse still, give up on God altogether. That’s what happens when we try to live our lives from the outside in instead of from the inside out. The tension between our inner world and outer world cannot be sustained long-term and will have a detrimental effect on our life.
All too often we compartmentalise our life and divide it into segments, which is where the confusion begins. We become actors, taking on the role of who we think we are supposed to be depending on our audience or circumstances. For example at church we are supposed to be a Christian, so we act like one (some of us could win an Oscar for our performance). Around our Christian friends we are supposed to be a Christian so we act like one. At work, we try to act like a Christian because we are supposed to be one, but at work we don’t have to play the role too well because our co-workers are not quite as familiar with the Christian script.