Why are you a Christian?
A few years ago, had someone asked me this question, I would have quickly said.
"I'm nice, I'm a good person and I have a good heart."
Did these things make me a Christian? No. Could these things be attributes of a Christian? Yes, of course!
When I say popular, I don't really mean well-known. I mean this, why do you go to church? Why do you sing and worship the way that you do, arms raised to heaven? Do you often type #blessed in your social media? Or, maybe, when a friend sends you a message about a struggle or hard time she is going through, you send an emoji with praying hands and type "praying!"
Maybe it is a habit, and maybe you do these things because it just seems like the right and "Christian" thing to do. But is it? Doesn't God specify the consequences of having integrity and being faithful in His word? (Proverbs 11:3).
In my growing relationship with Jesus, one thing I am coming to discover is this: genuineness is what is right. It is RIGHT to be genuine in all you do, especially in those things pertaining to Christ. It is so easy to say and do things that seem right, but if there is no genuineness behind these actions, they may as well go undone. After realizing what it truly means to give myself to Christ in all things I do (and no, I'm not perfect and have to actively work at this daily!), I have taken more notice of all things done in His name. Do you know what I've discovered? If we're being honest, lots of bootie-style shoes, skinny jeans, and a certain "look" that has become popular with the influx of a millenial following in His church, comments ending in #blessed, leaders who tend to gain more popularity than the God they are serving and the list goes on. Now don't get me wrong. We can absolutely be fashionable and tag along with trends among our church friends, and we can even attend churches that are large in congregation. What we can't do is lose ourselves and postpone our growth in Christ. Below is some food for thought!
3 Three Potential Results of being Disingenuous in your Faith
1) You may open yourself to false-teaching.
As a believer, I think it is safe to say that in order to know God's word, you work at it. Knowing the word of God does not come because you show up to church every Sunday, or follow a bunch of "church like" people on Instagram, but you must "give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress (1 Timothy 4:15)." When we look to identify with what is popular, trendy, or bask in the things that seem to be more fun, it is easy to loose the Gospel that should be the center of our spiritual journey. False-teaching can introduce itself to you in a way that makes it seem real and true if your faith is lead by an emotions-based existence. Peter teaches us in 2 Peter 2:1 that "there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you." It is important to know that in teaching, the appeal should not be to your flesh, but instead focused and directed on scripture.
2) You will not enjoy true relationship in Christ.
When you find yourself just going through the motions of Christian-life you will likely still find yourself unfulfilled. Why wouldn't you want to dig deep and cultivate a relationship with the God who made you? Out of all of the people in the world, He still thought it imperative to create you! Jeremiah 1:5 tells us that before He formed you in your mother's womb, God sanctified you and ordained you for a specific role on this earth (paraphrased). You will never know His purpose for you if you do not know Him.
3) Your duty in Christ may be missed, and those you are meant to bring to Christ may remain lost.
I attended a women's conference last year (http://www.recreatewomen.com/) and one of the speakers brought up an excellent point that I still think about regularly. When we begin to debate with ourselves about what we should be doing, how we should serve, how we should handle ourselves for the betterment of Christ, and ultimately how overwhelmed we are in the process of figuring all of this stuff out, the most important thing to remember is this:
What will happen on the other side of our disobedience?
When you get tired of serving, what about the people on the recipient side of your serve who need leadership and guidance in finding their way to Christ? What happens to them if you ignore your purpose? Ensure that you are doing your part by remaining faithful, knowing your purpose and executing your purpose for His kingdom!
Bible Verses to Remember
Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God (Matthew 5:8).
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
Word of the wise? The next time you send "Praying!" to a friend after she bears her heart in an emotional social media post, make sure you take the time to sit in a quiet place and truly pray over her and her circumstance.
Word of the wise? If you are so content with your life, enough so that you want to type #blessed, before you type, instead take the time and thank God for all of the things that are making you smile.
Thank you for your love, patience, and new mercies each day. Father, I pray that I will continue to grow in Christ, becoming more of you and less of me. I pray for discernment and strength so that I will be able to be a true believer, one that continues to grow into deeper relationship with Jesus, discerns true doctrine from that which is false and be obedient in what your will is for me. I pray that your will is done, and that I grow to glorify you in all of my endeavors, spoken, unspoken and amongst others. In Jesus name, Amen.