“There is nothing worse than a fake Christian.” - Joyce Meyer.
Now there are not a lot of us that would actually feel like Joyce was talking to us. But when I heard her say this listening to her sermon from the Code Orange Revival at Elevation Church, it stuck. It made me wonder, is every version of myself aligning with that of God?
No one is perfect so let’s get that out of the way right now. Just because you decide that you love Jesus does not mean that all of a sudden you will never do any wrong. Cool? Can we move on from that? But the reality is, when you decide to love Christ, there is no way that you should be the same person 13 or 20 years in as the day you gave your life to Him. Period. The word of God will change you. IF you let it.
So many people want to get their lives all cleaned up and buttoned up before they decide to pursue God, but really, He’s here to help us in that process. So the more you come to know God, the better you should be. Why? Because if you are a follower of Christ, then you are going to want to pursue His ways and make them your ways. But, there are times when we seem to get it in church and not in other places in our lives.
So you’re nice and full of the spirit on Sunday, but you go to work and gossip about your co-worker. Or you’re full of the spirit with family but treat your friends like crap. We get it in one sense, but don’t allow it to extend into every portion of our lives. And it happens to a lot of us! Believe me.
I won’t talk about you here, but I will talk about me. I think about how sometimes I can be so short tempered with my husband or with my mom when she is not getting something, but I am patient when things may go haywire at church on any-given Sunday. Or I am patient at work when something isn’t really going my way. Why wouldn’t I be able to extend that same loving kindness to the people that I love more than anything? How is it that sometimes we treat strangers better than we treat those that we claim to love?
It’s not on purpose. It’s just that our family and loved ones are closest to us. So honestly, we take them for granted and don’t realize that they are just as deserving of the best version of ourselves as anyone else.
I also think about my group of guy friends where I literally used to kind of be one of the guys. And I remember my husband, who was my boyfriend at the time saying, “Dang babe, you’re kind of like a different person around them.” I was. I was like a lot more ratchet when I got around them than I normally am. Lol. So I had to start making adjustments. Not because you can’t enjoy yourself or that different environments won’t bring out different parts of your personality. But because I never wanted to meet someone in that context who said “Oh wow and she’s a Christian?”
I know, none of us want to be role models right? We’re all on our Charles Barkley. But let me tell you something about the moment that you decide to decree that you are a follower of Christ. You will be in some situations where you are the only Christ someone will EVER experience. Would you want your interactions to be the reason that they can’t believe? I know I wouldn’t want that on my back. We are love letters of God being read of men EVERY single day. You don’t want to be an example? Too bad. As you sit under the word of God. As you become a doer and not a hearer only, I am telling you that you will become an example whether you want to or not.
It’s important right now too in a time where things are pretty much all over the place. All day I see little things bashing Christians up and down my timeline and you can’t always blame them. If you say that you believe, there should be fruit. I know sometimes people only think of “fruit” as money and success but that is not the case. You should have peace, you should have joy, people should want to be around you, you should be a LIGHT. Those things are fruit. Who would serve a God that didn’t produce happiness and righteousness in our lives?
I can only speak for me. The rest is up to you. But I know that it’s important to me that I don’t meet you on Thursday and be one way and then we run into each other at church and you’re like “wait a minute, was that the same girl from Thursday?” lol.
When I first came to Christ, it was the examples I had in front of me that helped me make my mind up. That helped me to know, “hey I want some of what they have.” And they were NOT perfect people by any stretch of the imagination. That was part of the power. They were imperfect people being themselves but you could see the love of God all over them.
CLICK TO TWEET /// They were imperfect people being themselves but you could see the love of God all over them.
That is my mission. To show you that hey, I am not perfect. I still watch ratchet TV and sometimes let some words fly that I shouldn’t. I still get an attitude at times and can be impatient. But that I am also desperately chasing after God and His ways. I want you to be able to see that the Ashley in front of you is not the Ashley from a year ago or even from 3 months ago. That as I sit under the word, as I communicate daily with God and dig into his word, that I am changing and being molded into the most refined version of myself. That I am becoming everything that He already sees me as. That I can look in the mirror and be content because what I see looking back is God in me.
It’s a heart check. I love life. I love enjoying life and being free. Sometimes it can seem as though Christianity is all about stealing your fun and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I am happier now than I may have ever been in my life. But it’s the moments when we have to look within and say, would God be pleased? When we’re at work, dealing with an ex, in the line at Dunkin - asking ourselves, “Would God be pleased?”
As we check ourselves, we will begin to see the alignment of every version of who we are in God’s perfect will for us.
Scriptures to Reference:
But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:8 (NIV)
The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. 2 Corinthians 3:2 (NLT)
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