Sunday, August 24, 2008
THE NASTY CHRISTIAN
Recently I heard a couple of stories from non-believers that made me think about being an "example of the believers." (1 Tim. 4:12)
1. In a work situation someone needed help from a fellow employee. This person was reading their bible in the lunch room earlier but refuses to help you. Why would you want to belong to a group like this?
2. Work again. You are under pressure with a project and need someone to support you but your office mate cannot do it because he is going home teaching. Is this what a real Christian would do?
C.S. Lewis has an answer in "Mere Christianity" that I love. He said: "We must...not be surprised if we find among the Christians some people who are still nasty. There is even, when you come to think it over, a reason why nasty people might be expected to turn to Christ in greater numbers than nice ones. That was what people objected to about Christ during His life on earth: He seemed to attract "such awful people." That is what people still object to, and always will. " (P. 180)
Then Lewis goes on to talk about the pitfalls of "being naturally good" which I have posted here previously.
So, as one of those "nasty people" that hasn’t always been good at being an "example of the believers," I want to apologize for my bad example...especially to my children. I have hope in the scriptures that say we will also be judged by the "desires of our hearts." I have wanted to be better than I am. I want to be so good that when you see what I do you will want to know the Christ that I follow but I know I have failed on many occasions and will continue to fail...hopefully less and less as I continue to try to be better.
Some quotes from Mere Christianity:
"Good people know about both good and evil: bad people do not know about either." P. 87
"Virtue—even attempted virtue—brings light; indulgence brings fog. (P. 94)
"Good and evil both increase in compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. And apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch and attack otherwise impossible. (p.117)
"...be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." 1 Tim. 4:12