When the word “Christianity” is mentioned, some people immediately turn a deaf ear to what else is said. Many television programs, movies, and news print articles portray Christians as namby payee narrow-minded idiots. Out of all the religions in the world, except the Jews, Christians are the most ridiculed and persecuted.
Christianity is about love. The whole message of Jesus is love. It’s easy to pray for people we like but He also tells us to love our enemies. The New Testament tells us to pray for our leaders. Well that’s okay, unless it’s someone who has a different philosophy than us, we reason. As Christians we are to especially pray for those we disagree with or who make ungodly decisions. The story in the Old Testament of God talking to a donkey is a reminder of how God can use the most unlikeliest animal or person to get His message across.
The whole message of Jesus is to love the unlovable – and of course we’re all unlovable at times. If Christians lived as Christ, our way of life would be obvious to everyone we come in touch with on a daily basis. I’m not talking about praying in public before every morsel that goes into our body, or reading the Bible at lunchtime, or saying “praise the Lord” every 30 seconds in front of others. For non-Christians those acts can be very off-putting as it can give the impression of, “I’m better than you–look how spiritual I am….”
Real Christianity is being “real.” It’s about being kind to someone who isn’t nice to you, or allowing someone to get in line before you. It’s about encouraging someone with kind sincere words, and less talking bad about someone who doesn’t live up to your standards (because after all, it’s God’s standards we should be concerned about). For example, if “Mary” is a new Christian and has no clue about how to talk or dress, then be nice and help her to change those habits. Prayer is a wonderful tool to change people and situations. Or what if your coworkers were talking about you, and you heard them? Get over it and be NICE to them.
Or perhaps you’re in a restaurant and your waitress wasn’t very good, but you feel she needs to know about the love of Jesus. True, maybe she did forget your food and it came out cold, and forgot all about your table. She does need to know about the love of Jesus, but not with a really poor tip and a tract on top of that. Show her the love of Jesus by leaving a really good tip (deserved or not) and the Christian tract.
LOVE is an action word – a verb.
Christianity is the only religion where we don’t have to do anything to become a Christian, other than accepting Christ as boss of our lives and realizing you were a sinner. Christians don’t have to do good things to become a Christian, or go to this meeting, or do this, or that, unlike other religions.
So why do so many people refuse to accept Christ and His love when we don’t have to do or change anything to become a Christian? Because people don’t want to be told what to do. Yet, the message of Christ is love. We were given instructions on how to live because we are loved. The instructions keep us safe and out of trouble. Just as we tell our children not to do something because we want them to stay safe – we love them. It’s the same principle.
Christianity is built on love and we are to live our lives using Christ as our example. Not everyone will be nice to us or even like us, but we need to get over ourselves and love them anyway.