Have you recently been asked if you’re a Christian or identified yourself to someone by saying, “Well I’m a Christian”? Not sure about you, but these days I find myself hesitant to wear the label. Not because I’m ashamed of the name of Jesus, but because I have no idea as to the group I’ll be placed in.
The term has become subjective and distorted. Our enemy has done a tremendous job forming that identity into something other then its intended purpose, such as, haters of homosexuals, intolerant, boring lives, and hypocrites, religious people and so on. This really bothers me and I find myself constantly avoiding the identity the world is trying to place Christians under.
It seems the label has become quite crowded and I feel elbowed by worldly opinions. And if I’m being honest, I feel angry too. Elbowed and angry makes for an irritated crowd and I find myself saying, “Lord, get me out of here.”
First Peter 1:16 “Be ye holy because I am holy”. I examine my life and wonder what I try to pass off as holy. My opinions? Thoughts? Things I’ve said? The way I acted? What I watch or read? I wonder what televisions shows I’d watch if Jesus were sitting next to me on the couch. Of course these are my private thoughts and I’m sure you have them too. All this being said, it makes me wonder how much I contribute to the worldly view of being a Christian. Have my actions given the world permission to justify its definition? I am certain I have murkied the waters and often feel so discouraged about it.
To be a Christian is to be “Christ like”. The world gives permission to be a Christian but not “like-Christ ”. The world wants the peace and love of Jesus, but not the sword and sometimes I settle for that too. Matthew 10:34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” And he didn’t bring it just to brandish it – he brought it to use it. Distorting the things of God is serious business. God will not be defined or redefined by anyone. He will protect his Holiness.
I’m rambling on simply to say, I want my identity to always be in Christ, the way He intended, not as the world tries to form it or how they suppose it to be. For He is the potter – the world is not the potter. We must be in his hands, so he can form us. It’s an on-going process. My salvation is certain, that is never the issue. But the more he forms us, the less we will look like the world. We will be a reflection of Him. Some will love it and others will hate it and that’s just how it’s going to be. By allowing Christ to shape us into his image shatters the worldly definitions placed upon us.
So for today I look to the Lord. I pray the Lords strength to live a holy life. I pray the Holy Spirit will lead me into holy by letting go of the worldly and trusting everything He has said and done.