I want to ask you a serious question-
What do you believe is the most important thing about being a Christian?
Doing good deeds?
Keeping to the rules?
Going to church?
A relationship with God?
I want you to seriously consider your answer before I explain my views on this so make your decision before reading on.
I’d first like to start by saying each of the above aspects of Christianity are important IF they are what God is calling you to do. As servants of the Lord we follow him into the promises and purpose he has for our life. He goes before us and LEADS us where he wants us. We in turn obey him and fulfil the purpose he has guided and equipped us for. We bring glory to the father and are fulfilled. It all sounds very lovely, which again points to the truth that God is good and we are designed to be in relationship with him BUT I do know following Christ holds challenges for all of us and we are not without our adversary’s.
One adversary I’d like to talk about today is…other Christians!
Yes, you read that correctly! I want to talk about Christians being adversary’s to other Christians. Bear with me.
I really have it on my heart to right some wrongs that my head and heart have been hurting over, which in turn have the power to pull me away from God. I often believe I’ll never measure up and begin to lose faith and hope in God. Feelings of hopelessness and ‘knowing’ I’m not doing a good enough job at being a disciple of Jesus because I’m not solving homelessness, or volunteering for a charity, or being as hands on as other Christians in the community plague my faith and leave me lost. I often feel judged for not presenting as a ‘proper’ Christian woman because of my looks, my demeanour and my personality. These thoughts are toxic and really only serve the enemy in all honesty.
I think it’s fair to say most of us, if not all of us know that we can’t get to heaven on our own. We have all (and if you’re human continue to) sin in one way or another. There has only ever been one without sin, Jesus Christ, who gave his life so that we could all be saved.
It’s no secret we ALL fall short (even those ‘AMAZING’ Christians who make you feel like you’re a terrible Christian!) If we didn’t all fall short Jesus’s sacrifice would serve no purpose. In actual fact it is the key to our salvation! Jesus repeated on several occasions “Your faith has saved you.” NOT your good behaviour or deeds. NOT because you went to church every week and gave 10% of your earnings to the charity pot. YOUR FAITH.
Don’t get me wrong, we certainly have been called to love each other and follow Jesus’ example to serve and support those who need help BUT sometimes I feel we are almost measured as a Christian by what we’re doing MORE than our faith in God. We still look at the outward appearance of what a Christian ‘should’ be rather than recognising a God fearing, dedicated and loving heart. I truly believe the closer our relationship to God the more these holy and loving deeds pour out of us naturally. The more we learn to trust God and go boldly in faith we are able to guide others to God and testify to his goodness. The more God prunes that in us which does not bear good fruit the more we grow in likeness to him and give his light to those around us. It all starts with faith. We are saved, healed, forgiven and reborn by faith. Faith in God, faith in Jesus and Faith in things not yet seen. Sins are forgiven through repentance thanks only to faith. None of us are expected to be perfect, there would be no need for grace, or forgiveness, or Jesus’ sacrifice if we COULD be perfect. But we are expected to have a relationship and strong faith in God if we’re to make it to heaven. As it is written in Matthew 22:37-40, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and will all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” How often do we overlook this as the most important thing we can do as Christians? Answer: a lot.
It begs the question, how can you love someone with all your heart and all your mind if you barely know them? We NEED a relationship with God for our love, trust and faith in him to grow! Our salvation depends on it.
As Christians we need to live in these truths and support, encourage and love one another. We need to remind each other regularly that the most important thing is what God thinks of us and that we walk with him at HIS pace for us in the direction HE chooses. We need to stop worrying about what other Christians think of us, stop comparing where we are in our journey’s and totally focus on having the strongest relationship with God possible where we serve only him. I invite you to do the same, walking with boldness and confidence in your faith.
Much love, as always please be kind.