Sunday, March 7

Follow Me to Freedom 2

Follow Me to Freedom: leading and following as an ordinary radical

Conversation 3, page 58
A tree is known by its fruit [...] the early Christians had it right.  They said, "If someone's a healer, don't let them go around saying it, let them show it."  If someone's a prophet, you'll know it not by what they say but by the fruit of their prophecy.

We should be careful and intentional how we show our faith.  Instead of telling everyone we meet that we're Christians, instead of plastering our cars, bodies, and Facebook profiles with "I heart Jesus" and our favorite, carefully-chosen Scripture, our main display of faith should be our actions of love.  Not words.. actions that are really an overflow of the love He has placed in our hearts.

It's easy to be a hypocrite when I rely on my words and bumper stickers and Joshua 24:15 plaque to proclaim my love of God.  If I focus on my deeds and let those be the first priority, my claim to be a God follower will be a lot more meaningful--and not just to unbelievers.

I struggle with this a lot.  I love Him and I'm still a mess most of the time.  I want to be the tree known by God and people for its good fruit.  I try to be genuinely good, but (thank you, Catholic guilty upbringing!) often I just feel like a messy hypocrite.  Sometimes I get really discouraged  and wonder if I should share my faith at all--why would an unbeliever want to be a Christian, when they can see me and all my crap and how horribly far from perfect I am in life?  It's not very attractive sometimes, the real me.  It's difficult to ignore the enemy and liar who wants me to use my sins as an excuse to cover up the light my God put in my soul.

If we wait for people who have it all together and who are not so "behind in life" (my old roommate's phrase) to be examples for the Gospel, no one is ever going to hear it.  Maybe instead of hiding our brokenness/selfishness/stubbornness behind our Christian bumper stickers, tattoos, and playlists, we should show them side by side.  Maybe the key isn't to make Christianity look holy, put-together, and mess-free.. maybe we're supposed to call out to those who are just as messed up as we are, and show them first that they're not alone.

And the first step for me will be to be intentional about my focus, taking it away from my words (and wall plaques and bumper sticker and Facebook quotes and blog posts), and let my actions and love do the talking.

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