Who do you go for?
No, really....who do you go for?
Let's say for example that you are a fan of the best football program in the SEC nation (that would be Auburn, if you were wondering). You go to all the football games and wear your blue and orange. You know all the words to the fight song and you love cheering your Tigers on to victory. You have 3 AU bumper stickers and car flags for every window. But then- IT happens. Auburn gets beat by Bama in the Iron Bowl and the program goes down hill. The coach gets fired. The fans are sad. You decide to take down the car decor and quit wearing the blue and orange everyday to work. You don't get as pumped up and stop going to the games. You still like Auburn- you think they're pretty cool and all- but you don't fight with the Bama fans at work and you might be spotted in some crimson. I mean-deep down inside (really deep) you still bleed blue and orange. But, you won't make it known unless you're asked.
Okay, I'm sure you can see where I'm going here.Why do we call ourselves Christians if we're not going to act like it? It's like being a fickle fan. You're only a christian when it's convenient. I know, I'm not perfect, I don't always act in the most Christlike of ways, and I don't want to seem like I'm pointing fingers. So, in all seriousness, if I say something in this post and then you see me do it later--tell me. Don't let me be a hypocrite.
It all started when I read a note a friend of mine posted on Facebook about the need for girls to dress modestly in the summertime. She said, "Although the idea of a cute TINY bikini might seem more appealing, I warn you ladies of what you are doing to your witness and to the eyes of men. We are called to glorify Christ in all that we do. Do you agree? While I'm sure you do, are you glorifying Christ with your body? (1 Corinthians 6:20)". Oh-and Facebook. When you post those "really cute beach pictures of you and your BFF in your "itsy-bitsy yelllow polka dot bikini" for all the world to see, are you respecting your brothers in Christ? Yes, we are sharing about all the really cool/neat/awesome things we did on our trip...but can't we do that without the stumbling blocks? Are we glorifying Christ in what pictures we post? Now I'm guessing this doesn't just apply to the modesty issue...are you putting things out there that don't accurately represent the Savior residing inside of you?
A study that the Burma Group did before publishing the book unChristian found that a majority of Christians did not act that much differently than their nonChristian counterparts. In the study they conducted, young Christians were just as likely "to gamble, take something that didn't belong to them, physically fight or abuse someone, get drunk, to use an illegal nonperscription drug, told a lie, gotten back at someone for something he or she did, or to say mean things behind someone's back. No difference." The author puts it this way: If you were to place the Christians in one room, and the nonChristians in another room, you could not tell the difference on lifestyle choices alone. In another survey they did, 84% said that they personally knew at least one committed Christian. Only 15% thought the lifestyle of those Christians were different from the norm. This is sad. What kind of example are we showing for Christ if we are living as if we are of the world? We aren't accurately representing the call of Christ to the world.
We are called to live in this world, but not of this world. We are called to a higher purpose-to be set apart. Leviticus 20:23-26 says "You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them. But I said to you, “You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the LORD your God, who has set you apart from the nations.You must therefore make a distinction between clean and unclean animals and between unclean and clean birds. Do not defile yourselves by any animal or bird or anything that moves along the ground—those which I have set apart as unclean for you. You are to be holy to me because I, the LORD, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own." We are becoming increasingly poor witnesses of a life and mind transformed by faith. If we (the Christians) can't represent Christ in the world, who will? I know, it's hard. God never said it would be easy-only that he would always be there. Here are three tips for the climb:
1. Ask yourself, "Does my life point people to a life in Christ that bursts with freedom to love, restoration, purity, and transparency?"
2. We all need friends (that are believers!) to help us stay accountable and to keep us straight and focused on the end result. Find someone. Surround yourself with like minded believers and remove yourself from harmful relationships. It's alot easier to represent Christ when the people you are around are representing Christ.
3. Examine what you are putting out there on the internet. Are they things that are glorifying to God? Would you be embarassed if your parents/pastor/Jesus saw them?
"So the truth is that I'm fighting. I'm fighting sin with everything I've got. Some days I fare better than others. Odds are that if you're calling me a hypocrite, then you caught me on one of my worse days. I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I let you down and disappointed you. But the truth is that I'm not giving up or letting go. I've encountered a God who promises the battle will end in victory-life instead of death. So call me crazy-but I'm holding on to that promise. I'm also trying to uphold the standard God has set. They're pretty high, and some days I just find myself laying on the ground, staring at the ceiling. But then I feel and urge, to get up and fight once again."
- Margaret Feinberg
So...who are you representing?