Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Surprised that you're a Christian

   "You mean to tell me you're religious with the way you act?" I stared at her, not sure if she was joking or not, and really hoping she was joking. I quickly tried to think of anything I may have said or done that would raise that question.

  I was at my afternoon station in the main lobby of the hospital, and the "she" is one of the phone operators. She often stops by to chat and joke with me and Thelma,  the 77 year old woman who is my adopted "mom" at work. She walked over to the snack shop, and I turned to Thelma and asked "she was joking, wasn't she?" Thelma laughed, and said "of course she was."

  The operator had asked me what kind of books I read, and my answer prompted her question. I watched her walk back toward us with her food as she laughed. "You were joking, weren't you?" She laughed more, and told me that she was joking. Relieved, I forgot about the incident until later, and it caused me to think.....and that incident has never left my thoughts, though it was several months back.

  Rewind a little further back to November of 2012. A well-loved and very handsome actor met an early death, pretty much because of living too recklessly. I had seen a couple of his movies, but had steered clear of most of them since I didn't think they were movies a Christian should watch. A lot of them seem to be full of cursing and nudity, and I try to steer clear of that. To my surprise, after his death all of these statements came out about his faith and how he was a wonderful Christian. Not to sound judgmental, but I was surprised. I'm not saying actors cannot be Christians, but I would never have guessed he was one by his lifestyle, the movies he appeared in, the roles he played, and the thousands of half naked pictures of him that are spread across the internet.

  Around the same time, another very much alive actor began making news talking about his faith and how he prays daily to God. This was an even bigger surprise to me than the previous actor. The majority of his movies are full of bad language and are not at all the kind of movies I feel I should be viewing as a Christian. And again, his lifestyle would not indicate any kind of Christian faith.

  These three cases have caused me to examine my life and ask myself if I am living for God in such a way that people aren't surprised to find out I am a Christian. It is more than going to church every Sunday, carrying a Bible, supporting politicians who best line up with biblical values, praying for your meals in public as well as private.....it is being so different from the world that people notice. It is living a life that if we were put on trial for being a Christian that there would be insurmountable evidence to convict us.

It is taking your faith outside of the church and your house

It is taking your faith into your job and it influencing your work, whether it be as an actor or a garbageman 

It is being in but not of the world

It is taking the high road.....all of the time

It is denying ourselves and taking up our cross daily

It is striving to honor God in all we do

It is living so no one is surprised that we are a Christian

   It doesn't matter what our lot in life is, whether we are a celebrity who everyone knows or we are the school janitor; our faith should come out in whatever we do and whoever we are. We should be noticeably different from those who do not serve God. If those who work with us, who live around us, who are Facebook friends with us; would be surprised to find out that we are a Christian......then we aren't doing this Christian thing right.

  I look at where I feel I need to be, and where I am at...... and it can be daunting. My prayer though is to not be the kind of man and Christian that I think I should be, but the kind that God wants me to be. That is the kind that shouldn't cause surprise in anyone when they find out for sure I am a Christian.

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