In Matthew 7:22-23, Jesus said to the Pharisees, “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” Why would Jesus deny entry into the Kingdom of Heaven to those who claim to be Christian? Because they didn’t live up to His name.
Christians are held to a higher calling than other believers. Do you think God should hold a Hebrew to the same standard he does a believer? Of course not. A Hebrew never claimed to believe in Jesus Christ.
When you tell people you’re a Christian, you wear the cross around your neck, or a t-shirt showing your faith, your actions tell a lot about your God. A woman who screams at a store clerk for the line being too long is showing her children that her God is an impatient God. A minister who sexually abuses children shows people that his God cannot be trusted.
Each and every one of us is an advertisement for God. Mahatma Ghandi said it brilliantly when asked about his views on Jesus Christ. “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Wow! If that doesn’t put a lump in your throat.
How much are you like Christ?
We will never be perfect like Jesus, but we can do our best to be sin free. We know how to treat others. And when we cross the line we should also be Godly enough to apologize for it. Imagine the look on a store clerk’s face if the angry woman, with her children in tow, showed up the next day and apologized. It could make not only a difference in this young clerk’s life but her kids as well.
What type of God do you show people? When you’re driving to work, and you get stuck in traffic, do you force yourself into other lanes or honk your horn incessantly? If so, you show that your God is an angry God. When one of your employees makes a mistake do you yell and berate showing that your God is an abusive God? Or do you show a patient, understanding God? Do you walk around with a frown on your face? That would make people believe that all the joy that is talked about is a lie.
How you behave is how people will view your God. As Christians, we should want the world to see love, kindness, smiles, laughter, compassion, and grace. After all, isn’t that what Jesus has given us?
Think back to this past week. What type of God have you shown people? I have a habit of showing the angry God when I get stuck in traffic. It’s time I started showing a patient one instead.