What does a Christian look like?
I was browsing through some new-to-me blogs today and came across one that I fell in blog love with.
They are a very non typical large family.
You must pop over and check out this rockstar tribe! Storing up Treasures.
I came across a recent post written by Courtney called "What does it look like"
I appreciated her fresh and very honest perspective on what it really means to be a Christian.
So often we are more concerned with making up rules to follow than we are about following Christ. We are more concerned with judging appearances than we are with looking at the heart of someone. We go about in our masks of hypocrisy confident that because we never drink alcohol, live in a nice neighborhood with nice friends, attend church every Sunday and dress conservatively that we are somehow made more holy because of those things.
A man covered head to toe in scars and tattoos may be a passionate disciple of Christ. He may be visiting the outcasts in prison and sharing a message of hope and forgiveness.
The man with the beer can in his hand may be the most Christ -like person you'll ever meet. He may be planting vibrant new churches in areas where darkness reigned. Maybe he is opening his home and fathering the fatherless. That same man may be spending hours a day in intimate prayer. Does that concept throw you for a loop?
We may turn up our noses, cluck our tongues and look the other way...but in reality that persons heart may be a lot more pure and filled with God's Spirit than ours.
In the church we like to rate sin. We like to make things into sin that are not. Things like smoking, tucked in shirts and base ball caps on backwards. When we make social taboos or expectations into sin ..that is legalism. The pharisees where legalists.
In our Christian circles certain addictions are considered sin...but some , like food addictions, are totally acceptable.
We gasp if someone uses a word that is crass or crude...but we use our tongues to lie, gossip and slander.
We cluck our tongues at the woman that enjoys a glass of wine because " too much alcohol is unwise and she is clearly defiling her temple". We shake our heads and cast our judgments while we sit and eat our third apple fritter.
Christians enjoy drawing lines and casting judgment on one another.
I'm not talking about living in and glossing over un-repented or habitual sin. On the contrary.....
The man who keeps his shoes freshly polished and his collar neatly starched may be addicted to porn. He may be committing fraud in his business activities. He may be going home to molest his daughter or beat his wife. Under the image of "Christian" perfection may lie a lot of sin. Things are not always what they appear.
Behind the quick judgement lies the truth of our condition. We are ALL sinners who are only saved by God's grace.
Check on the blog I linked above. She has an interesting check list of what we may think Christians are and aren't. There is also a pretty interesting discussion going on in the comments underneath.
Am I more concerned with looking like a "Christian" than I am with being like Christ?
Keep it real.
Is there fruit or just pretty flowers? The Spirit of God alive and and working in our hearts produces fruit. Fruit that nourishes those around us. The tree might be scruffy, unsightly or small but the fruit produced is what counts.