What Does Being Christian Really Mean

Why are Christians so judgmental? Just who do they think they are coming across all “high and mighty” like their sins are any less than mine? Are they really being Christian in their speech?

I’m sure you’ve come across many of the “Holier than thou” Christians who feel it is their job to point out everyone else’s sins and judge them accordingly. Many churches also do this and turn away those who are lost and need Jesus the most. Unfortunately, it seems that many well-meaning Christians have lost sight of what it truly means to be the light that Jesus was, is and will always be. Our jobs in being Christian is not to judge others but to simply love others as Christ first loved us – regardless of our sins.

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What Being Christian is NOT

In a time when controversy is literally around every corner, we see more people using God’s word in a way that creates conflict and hate, it is more important than ever that Christians exemplify what it means to be a follower of Christ. Unfortunately, the enemy is out there in full swing and likes to twist the Word of God to suit his own agenda. Yes, even Christians are susceptible to the tactics of the enemy!

  • Being Christian is not about judging others
  • Being Christian is not about thinking (or acting) that you are a better Christian than someone else
  • Being Christian is not picking and choosing the parts of the Bible that you feel are applicable or relevant.
  • Being Christian is not about your opinion on how others are living or how bad their sins are!

I recently had someone reach out to me about rules for a group that I moderate. In those rules, I simply state that there will be no hateful comments or discussions related to anything related to sexual orientation/gender identity issues (and a few other things). This person went on to let me know that, as Christians we should not be afraid to stand up for what is right and that God doesn’t tolerate immoral behavior and that even the church was becoming lazy in enforcing God’s rules (she used a bit different language but that was the gist of it).

Here is the truth – my duty as a Christian is NOT to judge others. Every single person will answer to God directly for an account of their time on earth when the time comes. It is not my place to judge, condemn, or turn away from them. My job is to love them as Christ loves me.

“So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” Romans 14:12 NKJV

 

What Does Being Christian Really Mean

Being Christian means many things. It means enjoying the amazing peace that comes from being a part of Team Jesus. It means living in a way that reflects the love and grace that comes from following Jesus. Most importantly, it means loving others unconditionally!

To be a follower of Christ means to understand that we are all sinners and that none of our sins are any worse or any less than the person standing next to us. Only Jesus Christ himself is pure and completely without sin. There isn’t a single Christian on the face of this earth that is without sin so how can anyone of us judge another? The Bible is quite clear about this one! As a Christian, you should be well aware of the following verse. When you judge another for their sin, you are outright and knowingly sinning against God (in addition to your other sins)!

“Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?” James 4:11-12 NLT

Being a Christ-follower means knowing and cherishing the grace that God bestowed upon you when you definitely didn’t deserve it and doing the same for others.

[bctt tweet=”Being a Christ-follower means knowing and cherishing the grace that God bestowed upon you when you definitely didn’t deserve it and doing the same for others.” username=”kingdomblogger1″]

 

Being Christian in Your Speech

Words truly have the power to give life or to take it away. I think this is the most common area that many Christians fail. In an effort to “help others” we often use speech that is judgmental and even hateful. When you disagree (for Biblical reasons) with someone, always think “How would Jesus respond” before opening your mouth! Instead of criticizing or condemning them with your speech, use your words in a more productive way such as inviting them to church!

“When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.” Proverbs 31:26 NLT

“But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37 NLT

When you speak to another about their sin, are you doing so with kindness or with an edge of disdain and condemnation? Are you simply pointing out their sin or are you encouraging them to a better life through knowing Christ?  Again, what would Jesus say to them?

Personally, I think that being a Christian is like being in like this super-awesome club or a party that I want to invite everyone to. Would you want to return to a party if all you did was hear people telling you how messed up or sinful you are? Absolutely not! By welcoming them and including them in the party festivities, they just might start picking up your “good habits” and leave their sinful ways behind. So your words can either bring the light of Jesus more fully into view for them – or it can send them back to the darkness.

 

Above All, Love Others

Above all else, being a Christian means loving others as Jesus first loved us. We are to love without condition, just as He did, does and will for us.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 13:34 NKJV

In our love for others, love without expectation, without conditions, without complaint. Simply love them as Jesus would. Show them kindness. Show them compassion. Show them a better life through your own actions and not through your own self-imposed conditions.

We had a man attend our church for the first time a few months ago. He was so lost when he was brought by a friend one Sunday. Turns out this man worked at a local strip club and was completely submerged in a variety of sinful activities. He knew he needed a life change which is why he agreed to come to church. He started serving and, even though others knew of his employment and lifestyle, they welcomed him completely without judgment. This love was offered to him without conditions. He eventually made his own decision to leave that job and find another one in an effort to remove himself from such a sinful influence. This past Sunday he got baptized in front of our entire church.

Had the other members of the church commented in disdain or disapproval on his employment and life choices, he most likely would have not continued serving and possibly wouldn’t have returned. But because they showed him unconditional love and how following Jesus just makes life better – he made these choices on his own. Love trumps everything!!

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” 1 Peter 4:8-9 ESV

Here’s the deal, you don’t have to agree with others to love them. By loving another who is deep in their sinful ways, you are not condoning it. You are exemplifying what it means to be part of the Christian faith. You are loving without boundaries or conditions.

[bctt tweet=”Being Christian means loving others just as Christ first loved us. ” username=”kingdomblogger1″]

 

My Sincerest Apologies!

To those who’ve been turned away, condemned, or made to feel less than anything but a child of God by the church or by another person professing to be a Christian – I am sorry! Somewhere along the way, their Jesus-filter (the lens through which they see the world)  has become blurred or damaged. Just as with you or me, they too are fallible to the sin of judgment. I pray that you give Team Jesus another chance because a life with Him is so much better than anything you could have ever imagined.

Just as I’ve talked about the sin of judging others, don’t fall victim yourself to judging them for their misguided understanding of the Bible and what being Christian really means. Ask around and find a good church. I promise they are out there!  Do your research and find one that is Bible-based, but that teaches from both the Old and New Testament. If you just can’t find one in your town, you can learn about the wonder of Jesus online with my church. All are welcome there as it should be.

Be sure to also read:

**We use verses from different Bible translations. To see more information about the copyright for each one, please visit our Scripture Citations. 


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