Last week, I wrote this post on our words vs. our actions concerning our prayer lives. As I was continuing to think on the topic, I began to see how this can apply to many aspects of our lives, so I decided to write a part two.
Another obvious application is simply the way we live our lives.
The majority of people you come in contact with (especially here in the South) will tell you they are a Christian, even if their lives reflect the exact opposite.
They think just because once upon a time they prayed a prayer, that makes things okay between them and God. The way they live their lives has nothing to do with it. They may live in open sin, never set foot inside a church or have one thought of the righteousness of God or His demand of holiness, but just consider themselves a “good ‘ol boy” and that’s good enough. They’ve never done anything that bad anyway.
Up until this point, you may be nodding in agreement. Yes, this person may say they are a Christian, but their life sounds like anything but Christ-like.
….But what about men and women who do go to church, yet do not live in a way that warrants the name of Christ?
“Well, I’m at church every time the doors are open!”
That’s great! But how to you live when the doors are closed?
“I’ve been going to church since before I was born!”
That’s great! But have you let all those messages you’ve heard throughout the years take root in your heart and change your life?
“I’m a Deacon/Sunday School teacher/Pastor/Pastor’s wife/etc.!”
That’s great! But do you live in a way that is pleasing to God and according to His Word?
Before you get angry, please know that I’m not trying to call your salvation into question. That is between you and God.
In fact, I’m mainly talking to those who are saved….those of us who truly are Christians.
I’m simply asking if we live like it.
I’m sometimes guilty of saying, “Yes, I’m a Christian,” with my mouth, but doing things that would cause people around me to think, “She’s a Christian?”
I’ve said and done things that I’ve had to go back to people and apologize for because I wasn’t acting very Christ-like.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I’m not the only one who has had to do that. Maybe you have too.
As much as we would like to be, we aren’t perfect. We still have our flesh, and our flesh isn’t saved.
We mess up.
We fall on our faces.
We make mistakes.
As much as we hate it, people see us make some of our mistakes.
Some people are even watching for them so they can point their finger and say, “Look at them! They’re supposed to be Christians and look at what they did!”
The thing that makes us different isn’t the fact that we never mess up, but that we have the Holy Spirit living in us who convicts us when we do wrong, and makes us want to do right.
We’re going to fall, but we don’t have to stay there.
The mark of a true Christian isn’t that he never sins, but that he doesn’t continue in that sin. He repents, confesses his sin before God, and moves on with Christ.
I don’t know about you, but a lot of times I find myself repenting more over my attitudes than my actions.
There are definitely times I do things I shouldn’t, but more often than that are times I’m not necessarily doing something wrong, but my attitude is rotten.
People see our attitudes, and they speak volumes.
A lost person isn’t going to look at someone who claims to be a Christian, yet is mean, hateful, and angry all the time and think, “Now there’s someone who belongs to Jesus! They must have something I don’t!”
No! They’ll think, “They claim to be a Christian, but even I don’t act like that!”
Listen Friends, I’m just as guilty as the next person.
My attitude has gotten me into trouble many times over the years, but I’ve asked God to help me with it…and you know what? He has.
Sure, I still have times when I grumble and complain and act in a way that isn’t Christ-like, but I don’t want to live that way.
I want to live in a way that brings honor and glory to the One who loved me enough to bear my rotten attitudes on Calvary.
I want my actions and my words to line up.
I want to live a life that is pleasing to my Lord and that would point sinners to the One who is able to make all things new…even attitudes.
This is the desire of every true child of God.
Take some time and examine your own hearts.
Do your actions confirm your words, or contradict them?
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” ~Psalms 139:23, 24