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Do you Call Yourself a Christian?

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Image of woman sitting with open bible in a beautiful field.

So, You are a Christian!


Having found Jesus is a beautiful thing.Your life seems to have meaning. You have found something that brings you great joy and happiness. Your loneliness and emptiness have disappeared. Praise the Lord! But does it end there?

What is a Christian?

Anyone that has accepted Jesus in their heart is considered to be a follower of Jesus Christ. So, when anyone asks you, “Are you a Christian?”, certainly you’re going to reply, “yes, I am”.

But, once you declare that, you now have a big responsibility in calling yourself a Christian. One needs to know that in calling yourself a Christian, you are representing the ministry that Jesus started. His church, not just any of the traditional churches that exist throughout our world, but the the church or body of Jesus Christ here on earth. The danger of this is, is that by not living up to the standards of what Jesus laid out for us to follow we could very well give God a “black eye.”

How can you give God a “black eye”?

People are going to be people, and if they see the opportunity to make themselves feel good about themselves, they will. People like to point fingers. And when it comes to religion, they will convince themselves of things like Christians are a bunch of hypocrites and why would I want to become one of them or ‘look at the Catholic priests that are molesting little boys’. What about the Muslims? Certainly they’re not all terrorists, yet have one come around and people begin to judge them without even getting to know them. Understand what I’m trying to get at.   People love dirty laundry. It seems that the worse it is, the better for them to spread around.

I’m certainly not denying that I haven’t been there myself pointing fingers. It seems like we need to do this, so that we can feel a little better about ourselves and not have to really see who we really are. We (including myself) can be quick to judge others, but when it comes to judging ourselves, forget it.

We have to remember that people are always watching us. Not so much as to be in waiting for you to slip up, but your conduct. If they see a mild mannered, polite, easy going person that is kind and considerate then that’s what they’re going to see. But if they see a rude, nasty, foul mouthed, angry person then that is what they are going to see.

It’s not so much as to be concerned about you calling yourself a Christian, but it would be better that “they” call you a Christian. That is what brings Glory to God. The best thing that you want people to see in you is the good (the Jesus in you).  No one wants to be considered evil, but who and what you are in Gods eyes is what is really going to matter.

Here’s an example:  Think about driving around in your car; I’m sure, like myself, you see people with the fish sign on their car or the “honk if you love Jesus” stickers. To me they’re advertising the fact that they are a Christian. But just look at the way they drive. Speeding, cutting people off and so on. Now I’m sure that there are people that do not know the Lord yet, saying things like, “look at that maniac and he’s supposed to be a Christian?” Whoops, there goes another “black eye” for God.  Or what if you are that driver who  is critiquing all the other drivers on the road?

See the harm that can be done?

We really need to be cautious about how we represent ourselves. If you want to be humble and someone asks you if you are a Christian. Just tell them that your faith is in Jesus Christ, He is your Savior and that you try to follow Him as best as you can, but you are not without fault, the Holy Spirit is still working on you.  Then when you do mess up, no one gets hurt. A Christian is a follower of Christ, a disciple. If you want to see what Jesus requires of one to be a disciple of His, look up these scriptures.

Luke 6:46-49 

46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.

Luke 14:26,27 & 33

25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ 31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

John 8:31-34 

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” 34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.

John 13:34,35

31 When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him,God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once. 33 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 15:8

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunesso that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

A Life-changing moment

Several years ago I read a book called “Not a Fan” by Kyle Idleman which made a big impression on me.  The book makes you ask yourself this question “Are you a fan or a follower?”  This is a defining question concerning your faith in Jesus and whether you simply admire Jesus or are in fact a follower of Jesus.

According to Pastor Kyle

Kyle Idleman Quote
“One of the symptoms [of a fan] is that you think you are a follower”

Here’s a link to an article on “Defining the Relationship”, about having the D.T.r talk with yourself about how you really relate to Jesus.

Kyle’s book “Not a Fan” has now been updated and you can find it on Amazon in paperback:

I challenge you to get Kyle’s book “Not A Fan” and ask yourself the most important question of your life.  How you answer this question will determine how you live this life and where you will live in eternity.

Comments

I love to get questions and comments from site visitors, you can leave yours below -Shirley

NOTE:  This post contains affiliate links, which if clicked and a product purchases, I receive a small commission.

6 Comments

  1. suzanne suzanne

    Shirley!! Wonderful post!!

    I, in fact, call myself a Christian and do my best every day to follow Christ’s teachings.
    That doesn’t mean I don’t stumble every now and then. We all do. Even Christ’s disciples struggled from time to time.

    But that’s the joy of believing in a forgiving and gracious God. If we ask for forgiveness, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.

    Showing God’s love to our neighbours is the most important thing we can do, though it’s hard to do right now with this social distancing, lol. So it’s showing love over the phone!!

    Blessings on you,
    Suzanneq

    • Suzanne, thanks for visiting my site and reading my article. Also, thanks for your comment. I agree, we certainly all stumble, even as Christ followers. And for sure we serve an awesome God who is ready to forgive us when we confess our sins and ask for forgiveness. You are also right that showing God’s love to those around us is something we are called to do. Even with the current state of social distancing, we can show our love in the way we react with others online. Thank you again for your comment. -Shirley

  2. Hi Shirely

    What an interesting post. Yes, I do call myself a Christian and it is quite a responsibility! A friend of mine gave up going to church years ago because she heard some of the congregation gossiping about someone on the way out and thought ‘this is not for me’. I am very aware that I need the help of Jesus before I so much as put my feet on the floor when I get up in the morning – without Him I am hopeless. The trouble with the human condition is exactly that, though. We are human, and can only hope that anyone witnessing less than perfect behaviour can see that our heart is in the right place.
    Thank you for the reminder.
    Kind regards,
    Jean

    • Thanks Jean for visiting my site and reading this post and for your comment. Sorry about your friend, but we need to always remember that the church is basically filled with “sinners saved by grace” and we will never be perfect until we receive our glorified and sanctified bodies. The Holy Spirit will keep working on us until them. Thanks for your comment. -Shirley

  3. About a month ago before we got the #stayhome order due to Covid19, a friend of mine asked me the exact same question. We were driving to our international folk dancing class and out of the blue, she asked me that question. My answer was, yes, I am a Christian. However, since I’ve moved to the U.S., I don’t go to church as often anymore because I don’t drive and there are lots of different denominations out there. Back home in Indonesia, I was active in youth fellowship, I was even one of the youngest deacons in our evangelical church. Though I don’t go to church often, I still pray and believe in Jesus. So, I know I am Christian inside and out. In fact, I went home to celebrate Christmas with my family and friends in Indonesia and stayed there for two months, went to church and joined fellowship few times, I felt good.

    Thank you for this enlightening post. It is a great reminder for me as well so I can reflect again the meaning of being a Christian. I’ll also check out the “Not a Fan” book.

    • Ferra, thanks for reading my article and your comment. Yes, it does feel good to fellowship with other Christians. Its difficult for me as I am in a wheelchair and my health issues prevent me attending a lot of the time. I hope you do check out the “Not a Fan” book, reading it was very helpful to me in “Defining my Relationship with Jesus. -Shirley

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