Am I a Christian? Ask My Neighbor!
If your neighbors, family, friends or co-workers were asked if you were a Christian what would their answer be? Would they be able to answer with a resounding yes or would they simply say that you claim to be one?
What would make the difference?
Most people know what a Christian is…..a follower of Jesus. Therefore, a follower of Jesus would be one that acts upon the teachings of Jesus. People with a knowledge of Jesus’ teachings are familiar with what he taught concerning loving your enemies, being kind to those that persecute you, forgiving others and that his disciples would be known for their love for others.
Most people familiar with the Bible know that Jesus cried out from the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.”
So, if your family, friends, and those associated with us were asked if you were a Christian would they answer yes because they have seen Jesus within you? Can they see you as a true reflection of Jesus’ teachings? Can they see love emanating out of you?
Or, do they see a person who claims to be a Christian but does not live out what Jesus taught? Do they see a person quick to anger, always blaming someone else for their issues? Do they see a person full of joy or a person full of hate? Do they see a person that is easily offendable or one that is very quick to forgive? Do they see a person of love or one of judgment?
The question is: what do THEY see?
Jesus doesn’t allow us to determine the level of our discipleship to him. He gives that judgment to others. He allows them to actually determine whether we are his disciples.
In John 13:35, Jesus tells his disciples, “by this will all men know that you are my disciples, by your love for one another.” That is the litmus test for our Christianity….our love for others. As Christians are we known for our love or known for fear, intolerance or hate?
So, we cannot truly answer the question about being a Christian. We must allow the recipients of our love to be the true answer givers. They are the ones that will be able to tell if we are Christians simply by asking how well we have loved them.
This meme that I posted is a brilliant reminder of this. The next time someone asks if you are a Christian, maybe you should respond the same way…. Go ask my neighbor.
That could be a dangerous answer if we have not been truly kind and loving to our neighbors, family, co-workers and those around us. As we walk out of Wal-mart (or any other shopping place), can the cashier say, “there goes a Christian?”
Can people tell we are a Christian by the way we respond on Facebook? I have seen so many people who claim to be Christ-followers not look like Jesus on Facebook. They tend to look more like the religious police always ready to accuse, judge and sentence someone that doesn’t agree with their way of thinking.
What about our co-workers? Do they see us give our best, treat them with kindness and show our boss respect, whether they deserve it or not? If they were asked if there are any Christians working there, would your name be the first one out of their mouths? Or would they just roll their eyes as they say your name?
I am a Christian because I have made the decision to put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord. I do want to follow his ways and teachings. I do want to be obedient to what he says. At the end of the day, the judgment of my actions is based more on what others say about me than what I think, or say, about myself.
I know of many people who claim to be Christians because they said a prayer or they go to church. However, when I look at the way they treat others, I would seriously question if they are truly following the Jesus we see in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (the gospels of the New Testament).
Am I a Christian? Please, go ask my neighbor.