What’s in a Name?

Let’s be completely honest with ourselves right now. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word Christian? For me, several words surface into my thought process. Hypocritical. Judgmental. Self-righteous. Whoa, wait a minute. That doesn’t sound very nice at all. I am a Christian. I believe 100% that God sent His only Son to die a criminal’s death on a cross, to take all of mankind’s sin upon Himself, to be the ultimate sacrifice for me, so I wouldn’t have to pay that debt. I also believe that after three days of being held captive in the clutches of death, He rose again.

I believe Christians are viewed by society in a not so great light because of things said and done in the name of Jesus.

Christians are the first ones to jump on a bandwagon to protest something. It could be anything from a movie about gay people to boycotting a store because the owner worships satan. Why on earth would we want to push those people away? Why would we want to initiate confrontation and pour out guilt and condemnation? Are we saying to Jesus that we have no sin, and it’s okay for us to pick up some rocks and throw them at everyone else? John 8:7 So when they continued asking Him, He lifted Himself up and said unto them, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

I dropped my stones a long time ago. Am I perfect? No. Do I judge others? Yes, it happens. I’m human. However, I am intentional about not saying harsh or judgmental words against others, but it does happen. Instead of a rock, I might throw a pebble or two. It’s pretty much the same thing no matter the size of our weapon. Like everything else, this has been a process. It’s hard to break a habit, whether it’s smoking, gambling, or judging others. But I am trying everyday to only speak life. The tongue is a powerful thing and has the power of life or death. (Proverbs 18:21)

I looked up the word Christian in the dictionary. One of the definitions is this: commendably decent or generous <has a very Christian concern for others> As Christians, are we truly living that out? Are we decent and generous to others or do we judge them? Are we decent and generous to the guy on death row who murdered children, or do we judge him and hope he gets what’s coming to him? It goes against everything that is coded into our DNA to forgive such a monster, but two thousand years ago, Jesus died for him.

Please don’t think I am so easily saying we should forgive a murderer. I know and completely understand the weight of that statement. If someone murdered one of my children, I honestly don’t know what or how I would feel. We are, after all, human, but holding on to bitterness and hatred doesn’t do anything against the other person. It only eats us up inside. Jesus said we are to forgive others as we have been forgiven.

Christians are so quick to avoid drug dealers, prostitutes, and the homeless. If we aren’t trying to reach those people, who is? It’s much easier to sign a petition to boycott a government official and forward it onto others, from the comfort of our computer keyboard. Are we as Christians even supposed to get involved with politics? I know this will probably surprise and maybe even anger some of my readers, but I have never voted. I am 41 and have never stepped foot into a voting booth. I have no interest whatsoever in politics. Zero. Zilch. I honestly don’t care whether Obama is an American born citizen or not. Satan is the ruler of this world, not the President or Congress. This world, including all government elected positions, will one day pass away.

I don’t want my life’s investment to be in the temporary. I want to be fully invested in Jesus and the eternal life He shed His blood for.

At this point, your view of me might have changed. How could I say things like “We should forgive those who kill children” and “I have never voted”. Am I some kind of anti-American psycho? Of course not. Christian means follower of Christ and His teachings. Jesus taught love. Not only with His words, but also with His actions. I believe that is what’s lacking today. Pure, unadulterated, unconditional love. If something doesn’t fit into our churchy model, we don’t want it. If it’s going to make us uncomfortable, let someone else do it. If it’s going to cost us something, then no deal.

Jesus was radical. He challenged the religious leaders of that era. He hung out with low-lifes. He hated sin, but He loved the sinner. He did the unexpected. He stepped outside of Jewish customs. He broke down barriers. He became love. This is the guy I want to follow. I want my life to be God’s, not my own. Like I said in an earlier post, I want to die. Die to myself and my desires. I want to be a light in this world that has become overshadowed with darkness, despair, and hopelessness. I want my light to shine for all to see.

If I say I am a Christian, I want to live the very definition of that name, that label. Let’s give the world a better example of what being a Christian truly means. What’s in a name, you ask?


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Have a blessed day

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