"I like your Christ, I don't like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
— Mahatmas Gandhi
I've discovered some things over the last few weeks.
I've found that most Christians have a sincere desire to live their lives for Jesus. They want to obey Him, honor Him and serve Him the best they know how.
However, I've also found that many Christians today don't understand how to love people the way Jesus does. We say mean things. We gossip. We're selfish.
Now, don't get me wrong. We are sinful humans and these traits are to be expected to an extent, but I wonder if we use our human nature as an excuse to our advantage?
The city that I pastor in is very religious. There are churches on almost every corner. Christian billboards are the norm up and down our interstate. We have two Christian colleges in our community.
But despite the plethora of religion, here's the shocking news: 70 percent of our city doesn't attend church ... anywhere. Line 10 people on our street, and seven of them don't go to church. There seems to be a serious disconnect between who Jesus is and who the church is. And I hate to admit it, but I think we're to blame.
The majority of Christians really mean well, I get it. I'm honestly not trying to bash the church. We start off excited about the Gospel, and about who Jesus is. We want to serve Him. But over time, we get caught up in ourselves and our "way" of Christianity. We get opinionated about how to live as Christians.
We can be guilty of accidentally saying and doing things without realizing it. We may sound spiritual, but the meaning behind our spiritual phrases are much more selfish than we'd like to admit.
Here are three things I've found that Christians accidentally say while trying to be spiritual:
1. What they say: "I'm standing up for what I believe in."
What they actually mean: "I'm too stubborn/arrogant/insecure to accept anything that differs from my opinion."
Sometimes Christian's confuse stubbornness with conviction.
The "my way or the highway" mentality never has worked well in the church. It could be arrogance that doesn't allow them to see any other way than their own. Proud people have a tough time seeing others views. Or they could just possibly be insecure in what they believe.
Whatever the reason, they "stand up for their belief" and shun anyone who feels differently. I'm thankful Jesus didn't do that 2,000 years ago.
The Lord is at work redeeming and sanctifying a people for Himself.