Opinions on faith and life

Being There

2007-01-01

Many people claim to be Christian, but few have Biblical saving faith. Among those, few actually move beyond spiritual infancy and choose to become disciples. I’ve written about “Children and Disciples” before, but now I want to focus on what it means in practice.

First of all, it means finding out what God wants from you, and the only way to do that is read and study the Bible. Not the study guide or the quarterly or the morning devotional, but the Bible. And it doesn’t mean sitting in Sunday School with your mouth open like a baby bird, swallowing whatever the teacher drops in. And it doesn’t mean doing that same thing in “worship” either, gulping down The Pastor’s lecture without chewing or tasting.

Second, it means applying what you learn to yourself. Most Christians seem to find plenty of other people to apply it to, but never see their own need to grow. Seeing each other’s faults is of course a universal human property, but Christians are supposed to “examine yourselves” (2 Cor. 13:5). Are you still a student after 10 or 20 years in Sunday School? Are you still listening to someone else’s interpretations of the Bible instead of sharing your own understanding? Are you still a child instead of a parent?

And this doesn’t just apply in the cloistered community of church either. Of all people, Christians should be model citizens, model neighbors, model employees or employer— even model drivers!

Do you put in an honest day’s work? When you make a promise, do you fulfill it? Are you known for being reliable, punctual, honest, clean, and mature? Do you take personal responsibility, or do you make excuses? Do you mix with the world in your leisure moments, saying it’s to “witness”, but somehow witnessing never happens?

In other words, can anyone tell you’re a Christian beyond the words? Or are you keeping the faith— from others?