Many times, we have heard Christians say, “Christianity is not a religion but a lifestyle.” However, if non-Christians are asked what impedes them from becoming one, the most common response is lifestyle of the so called Christians.
The greatest commandment according to Jesus, was to love God and our fellow human being (Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Mark 12:31). However, as history and experiences will prove, loving the latter has been a herculean task for believers. I believe this is a possible reason.
Many believers have not yet come to terms with the fact that we have been called to have and display the very nature of God through the Holy Spirit in Christ Jesus, that is have indistinguishable features when we are compared to Jesus Christ.
The Features of Christ
There are certain qualities that make Jesus Christ stand out among all in the universe. These are the things that makes Him more attractive to those who really seek Him. They include but not limited to:
- His love for the Father and Mankind
- His piety (Holiness and righteousness)
- His divine/supernatural nature
- His selflessness
- His non-judgmental attitude
- His Mercy
- His compassion
- His power and glory
- His generosity
- His humility
These features among many others that are not listed here makes Jesus Christ, the most influential personality of all time when compared to others. It is these features, among many others that are not listed that born again believers are expected to exhibit in their daily lives. Unfortunately, many professed Christians fail in this regard.
Reason for Failure
Many fail because they try to live their lives to please God as they understand and not as the Holy Spirit is teaching them. Additionally, they make no effort to learn to love their fellow human beings because human attitude can be utterly obnoxious sometimes. This is why Church folks are among some of the meanest and most judgmental in almost every society.
They are stingy towards their fellow man but supposedly give to God. They are very unforgiving and yet expect God to forgive them all the time because they asked in Jesus name. There is very little compassion displayed among them and yet expect their message to be listened to. They expect their message of truth to be accepted when preached but are unwilling to listen to other views and try to understand where those people are coming from.
These among many others, has led to the unsaved hating God more. This is not because God is not good, but looking at the attitudes and behavior of those who purport to serve Him leads to a general disgust. There is no beauty to such repugnant and loveless lifestyle in the name of Jesus Christ.
On three occasions while speaking to a youth group I asked them how many will serve God if they were to look at the lives of their parents. Your guess is good as mine, we had less than 15% affirming that the lives of their parents and extensively those in church was a major attraction to coming into the true worship of God. Less than 15%, I am convinced we can do better than that.
Beloved in Christ, this must change. The Church as God has designed it in Christ is supposed to be the most powerful and most influential institution on the face of the earth to demonstrate to all that God exists and He is love. The Church is the only institution in the earth designated with the mandate to show forth the wisdom of God to humankind and especially, invisible beings that exist (Ephesians 3:10)
It is time for us as believers to be more critical of ourselves, our lifestyles, behavior and attitudes than be pointing fingers at others and how they stand condemned (Matthew 7:5). It is time to live up to the hype of the being a Christian. It is time to be perfect as God is (Matthew 5:48) and display and demonstrate that we have Christ-like nature.
Until the born again believer is able to demonstrate fully the features of Christ in him or her, the truth they possess will always be repulsive to the people they are offering it to because of their obnoxious behavior. It is time to shine like Jesus Christ.
I leave you with this thought: Philippians 4:8 with emphasis
Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things and become them .