Shouldn't Christians Be Like.....Different?
It seems like every time there is a report of a Christian behaving badly, the standard reply is "we are all sinners who fall short of the grace of God" or "just because we're Christians doesn't mean we are perfect". That's certainly true. Christians are people who still are tempted by the same failings as everybody else. But, in the same breath, shouldn't Christians be like....different? Doesn't something special happen when we accept Jesus Christ into our lives as our personal Lord and Savior? And if there is no real transformative power in the name of Christ, why bother becoming Christian at all?
I've always been fascinated in the Gospel accounts how everyone that encounters Jesus leaves that encounter a different person. It may be a healing miracle, a sign of grace or a lesson learned, but no one that is exposed to Christ, even His enemies, seems the same. Fast forward to the Acts of the Apostles, the early Christians clearly act transformed. They radically changed their lives and their world. But why, when the world sees so many Christians today, we don't seem all that different from anyone else?
I've heard it said, "once saved, always saved". To be honest, that sounds quite hollow. If all it takes is walking down an aisle one Sunday, saying I believe in Jesus Christ and then returning to my sinful ways on Monday, I can understand why Christianity is losing a lot of its punch in today's world.
Faith is a journey, filled with moments. Moments of love, kindness, joy, service, forgiveness, suffering, loneliness, and prayer. Moments when we feel close to Christ and moments when we don't. Yes, sin creeps in sometimes. But, when our sin becomes more visible and tangible to the world than our faith journey, something has gone wrong. If accepting Christ doesn't truly make us a "new creation", have we really accepted Him at all or are we just paying lip service?
Christians are different. We look different, we sound different, we come from all over the world from different cultures, races and experiences. We're young, we're old. We're male, we're female. The list goes on and on. Despite that incredible diversity, we are united as one in Christ. That is an awesome thing. We should be radical. There is no shame in that. It is not a boast or a matter of pride. We should be so different that people point to us and say, "I want to be like them" or "what's their secret". Christ transforms us into His living witness so we can bring others to His salvation. Share your faith journey, that's really what people want to see. So, my fellow Christians, be different!