Beautiful One, what does a Christian look like? I suppose the answer is not as simple as the question itself.
This last week I watched the drama unfold in the life of Mel Gibson. Like many others, I was somewhat dismayed and discouraged at the events surrounding him. The one thing I can safely say about Mr. Gibson's present circumstances, is, as awful as they may be, I despise the cycle he has gotten himself into more than his actions.
Beautiful One, many good people do bad things. The old line,"hurting people, hurt people," may sound like a cliche, but it is very true.
How can a Christian man who had been married for almost three decades, raised seven children, and produced a movie glorifying God (The Passion of the Christ), be sitting before us in the court of public opinion battling the woman who had a part (along with him) in destroying his first marriage?
How did this man get to where he is? Has the body of Christ yet endured another black eye?
If he were really a Christian, would he be in this mess? Is it possible to belong to the Lord while living a life that is a chaotic mess? Would a real Christian do and say hurtful things? The answer is yes.
Mr. Gibson is not the first man that has fallen and he won't be the last. The only difference with him is that we have a front row ticket as his downward spiral plays out on the world stage.
But there are many Christians out there, silently suffering trouble on the home front. Does it mean we are not people of faith? Does our trouble define us? Do our actions prove our Christianity or disprove it? No, it just proves that every Christian is an imperfect being trying to follow a perfect God.
The Bible says;"The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV). That is good news, especially to those of us who have fallen a few times in life.
The harsh reality is that the world sees our actions and uses it to judge our proclamation of faith.
Christians are under more of a microscope when trouble arises. How many times have we heard people say Christians are hypocrites? In reality we can all be hypocrites, but maybe it's a matter of being strong in certain areas of life, but weak in others. It's not always hypocrisy; sometimes it's us walking in our weaknesses.
Maybe we don't struggle in our marriage, but we squirm in our parenting, or vise versa. Maybe we are wonderful at church on Sunday, but by Monday we are the office tyrant or gossip. Maybe we tithe, yet cheat our taxes.
There is always a contradiction in the life of any believer, always. Just look at Moses, called of God, yet he murdered a man out of anger. The apostle Peter, loved, absolutely loved Christ, yet when trouble came, he denied knowing him. Elijah did great things for the Lord, yet wallowed in self pity and depression. Is Mel Gibson, so different from these men of God? Maybe. Maybe not.
Isn't it ironic that nothing can justify Mel's actions, if they are true. Nothing but the Passion of Christ - His shed blood!
Beautiful one, I have been there, I know exactly what it is to be laid low by my own doing. There is nothing worse than when we come face to face with our own wickedness or weaknesses and suffer. Sometimes it's better suffering at the hands of someone else, at least we know we didn't cause it. However, facing our own demons can be the hardest thing to do, and many don't ever do it! They continue to go about life tangled up in chains; wounding anyone in their path.
But when the hour on the clock of the appointed time falls on us, and God allows a spotlight to shine on our darkness, it is not to destroy us. It is to allow us to see just how far down we can fall, because apart from Him, we can do nothing!
Beautiful One, God sees our heart and step by step washes it, and re-creates a new heart within us. Depending on how willing we are to submit to the process will determine the amount of pressure we will endure through it.
And we should be advised, if we belong to the Lord, He will bring us up. But if we are stubborn, he may put us down first! Publicly or privately, whichever will be more effective.
What does a Christian look like? If you believe with all your heart that Jesus died for your sins and rose again, then just go look in the mirror right now, the face you see is what a Christian looks like. With every attitude, shortcoming and success that face beholds, the good, the bad, and the ugly, that's what a Christian looks like.
For God knew us before we were knit together in our mothers womb, and He called us by name, not by our actions! (Jeremiah 1:1 NIV)
Beautiful one, just believe! And remember with God, all things are possible, but apart from Him, we can do nothing!
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What a refreshing read!
You are so right in thinking and sharing with us, your insight.
And I, for one, thanks you!
It is so easy to put people into 'boxes' expecting one's interpretation of the label, only to become disappointed in their behaviour/belief system.
We are who we are, at the end of the day, whether Chrisian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu and so on, regardless,
We are HUMAN BEINGS with all of our traits, weaknesses, strengths, and THIS is why Jesus came. Not to change us, no, that would have been too easy for Him. No, he accepted us as we were, and as we still are, warts and all.