Once upon a time I disliked the word Christian. It left a fowl ringing sound in my ears and made my gut wrench up. This was before I became a “Christian”. Since than I have spent time reflecting on this word. Just what did it mean? How did it apply to me and why does it strike a nerve with other people? Finally what does the Bible have to say about this profession of faith?
Let us start with what the word means. Simply put it is a statement of faith. For me it says I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe He lived and died so I might enter into the kingdom of Heaven. It states I believe that the Bible is in fact the true word of God.
Let us also look at what the word does not mean. A common misconception of this word is that it is a statement of perfection. This could not be farther from the truth. If we were perfect we would not have needed the sacrifice of Gods first and only begotten son. This misconception and many others like it is why it strikes a nerve. The word has become a stigma, a black mark so to speak. It’s often used to criticize ‘That sure isn’t Christian like behavior.”
We have all heard this statement before, either against ourselves or others. This is a good time to share our views of what a Christian really is, and not criticize. I believe this because as Christians we are to lift each other up, not drag each other through the mud. We are to stand together as one, being united, and not divided. I will be the first to admit that I too have fallen into the trap of making such a statement. It’s an easy trap to fall into. It’s so much easier to get angry and criticize than it is to stop, forgive, guide and pray. As one in the body of Christ it is our job to hold each other up and guide each other to a more Christ like living.
In fact our Christian walk is the foundation in which our children will begin to form their own. Recently in church the pastor reminded me that we all reflect the face of God through the good deeds we perform. Children, especially those who are preteens or older, often have trouble believing in something they can not see. For each good deed performed or guidance we provide we are giving our children a small glimpse of their heavenly Father.
I would like to conclude this with what the Bible has to say about being a Christian. It has been the basis in which I have formed my view of this topic. 1 Peter 4:16 says “However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” No longer is this word a burden to bear. It’s a joyous statement of who I am and ever so glad to be. It guides me to be better, reminds me I am not perfect and give us all reason to give praise.
Bible verses found @ http://biblegateway.com NIV Translation