Maybe you’ve wondered why, if Christianity is so wonderful, some of its adherents not so wonderful.
I meet people who have been put off from Christianity mainly because of some they’ve met who use the moniker but don’t act very much like Jesus. They want to know if Jesus is so great, why his people are not so great.
But when it comes to people using the word “Christian,” I’m reminded of the words of Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
My girls go to classes at a local arts academy. They go to weekly rehearsals and then put on a big show at the end. It’s fun to watch, but honestly, some kids do better than others. A bit of it may be inherent talent, but most of it comes down to one thing…
Theatre Arts is a discipline. You work on your songs, your dancing, and your acting, and eventually, you get better at the craft. But if you call yourself “a performer” but ignore the work, you won’t be any good no matter what you call yourself.
The same thing goes for Christianity.
Lots of people call themselves Christians. But many fewer actually show up at church, and fewer than that study their Bibles and then pray fervently that God would teach them how to live out what they’ve learned. The day-to-day living it out is what takes discipline. You deny what is easiest and most comfortable to achieve something greater than what you are.
So when you see a lousy human being who calls himself a Christian, you can bet he’s never consistently put in the hard work it takes to follow Christ. It’s a painful process and very frustrating at times. There are days I feel it’s a victory that I’ve never killed anyone, much less been kind to everyone!
But discipline makes all the difference. Talk is cheap, but commitment, sacrifice, and hard work is what makes you more like Jesus.
Dave Gipson is a husband, father of 4 adopted children and one biological child, former foster parent, and pastor at Naples Family Church of Naples, FL. An author, Dave's new highly acclaimed book, "The Seven Surprises: Everyday Epiphanies on Being a Better Human Being," is now available. He also contributes regular commentaries to the Naples Daily News as well as other international publications. He has served churches for the last 25+ years, from Florida to the inner-city of Chicago. Rev. Gipson holds his ordination in the Southern Baptist denomination, and has two earned Masters degrees in Religion and Divinity. Read more at http://davegipson.net.Follow him on Twitter at @realdavegipson.