What Being a Christian Doesn’t Mean
So you’re a Christian. Here are three things that doesn’t mean (and one thing it does).
- Being a Christian doesn’t mean you’re perfect.
We have earned ourselves a bad rap for sometimes trying to be sinners wrapped up in a perfect bow. In reality, it is our imperfections that make us need Jesus so much.
As you communicate with non-Christians, make sure your words are dripping with grace and humility. Certainly, share your faith often. Talk about God’s truth with boldness! But avoid finger-pointing, shaming, or riding in on a “high horse.”
This takes practice. I’ve been a Christian for two decades, and I still have a lot to learn in this department. But here are some sentence starters that help me initiate grace-filled spiritual conversations:
- “Can I tell you how Jesus has made a difference in my life?”
- “Can I pray for you?”
- “Where do you go to church?” (If they answer nowhere, I invite them to come to church with me.)
- Being a Christian doesn’t mean you know all the answers.
It can be intimidating to stand up for our faith because there’s a risk we will face questions we don’t know the answer to.
- When was the earth created?
- Is the book of Revelation about the past or the future?
- What were the Nephilim? ( 6:4).
These are legitimate questions that don’t have easy answers. But just like we don’t have to understand every complexity of the human body in order to go for a jog, it is possible for us to confidently hope in God and His Word without having the answer to every spiritual question.
When discussing God, the Bible, and your faith, it’s okay to say “I don’t know.” God is mysterious. If we could fit Him in a box our minds could easily wrap around, He would not be worthy of our worship. Don’t get defensive when you don’t know the answer, but do offer to dig into the Word of God together. As you stand for truth, remember this verse:
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).
You can field tough questions by explaining what Christ has done for you.
- Being a Christian doesn’t mean talking about your faith will be easy.
Moses had a speech impediment. He was terrified of public speaking (Ex. 4:10).
The apostle Paul was an “unskilled speaker” (2 Cor. 11:6).
Both men took bold stands for God’s truth, even though they weren’t the best and brightest speakers and teachers.
If you expect talking about your faith to get easier, take a look at the heroes from the Bible like:
For each of them, standing for God’s truth was a struggle. They were able to live and speak boldly only because they relied on God for strength and trusted Him with the results.
Don’t be discouraged when sharing your faith is awkward or difficult. When it’s hard to be bold, don’t back down. Learn to ask God for help.
In Ephesians 6:19, Paul gives us a prayer we can pray for ourselves in this department: “And also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel.”
When we try to talk about Jesus like we’ve got Him all figured out, the world can smell a fake. When we ride in on a high horse, instead of simply taking the high road, we end up excluding rather than including those we want to see become a part of the family of God. And if we wait until it gets easier to share our faith, we will keep waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Being a Christian means we are imperfect, sometimes awkward sinners who do not have all the answers but have found the Answer to our soul’s deepest longings. Because of that, we have the great privilege of being “salt and light” in a dark and tasteless world.
I love how The Jesus Storybook Bible puts it, “Who would make good helpers, do you think? Clever ones? Rich ones? Strong, important ones? Some people might think so, but I’m sure by now you don’t need me to tell you they’d be wrong. Because the people God uses don’t have to know a lot of things, or have a lot of things—they just have to need him a lot.”
The One Thing Being a Christian Does Mean
There are lots of things being a Christian doesn’t mean, but it does mean this:
I am a sinner (Rom. 3:23), redeemed by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross (Eph. 1:7). I believe God is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do (Rom. 10:9–10).
Being a Christian means we are a new creation, transformed by the gospel (2 Cor. 5:17) and becoming more and more like Christ through His ongoing work in our lives (Phil. 1:6).
If you are a Christian, ask God to give you opportunities to boldly (yet imperfectly) share your faith with others.
If you are not a Christian . . . let me tell you how Jesus has made a difference in my life.
Written by: Erin Davis
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